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U  N  1  VERS  ITY 


HE  success  which  attended  our  republication  of  Gov 
Reynolds'  "  My  Own  Times ",  and  the  favorable  com- 
ments which  such  rehabilitation  received  from  the  press  and 
the  public,  was  a  sufficient  attestation  of  two  facts:  that  works 
of  unquestioned  historic  value  and  accuracy  are  demanded  and 
appreciated ;  and  that  research  that  develops  additional  facts 
or  adds  to  the  intrinsic  value  of  some  historic  exposition,  also 
receives  commendation  from  the  student  and  the  reader,  even 
if  such  illumination  should,  by  the  cold  light  of  reason,  dissi- 
pate some  of  the  roseate  hue  of  romance. 

Therefore  the  publishers  determined  upon  issuing  the  present 
volume,  Reynolds'   PIONEER    HISTORY   OF    ILLINOIS,  and    in 
adding  such   explanatory  notes,  comments,  and   biographical 
data  obtainable  as  will  be  not  alone  requisite  to  a  thorough 
comprehension  of  the  text,  and   the  individuals    therein   dis- 
coursed upon ;    but  will  also  add   to  the  valuable  information 
contained  in  the  original  volume.     This  material  has  long  been 
cited  by  numerous  authorities  as  a  well-spring  of  historical 
data,  crystalline  and  sparkling;  the  very  brusqueness  of  Gov. 
JOHN  REYNOLDS'  phraseology — like  the  emery-wheel  of  the 
I* ^lapidary — but  makes  the  delineation  clearer  and  crisper,  the 
.cscription  more  forcible  and  vivid,  and  his  admirable  common- 
1   sense  renders  his  deductions  the  most  feasible  solutions  of  a 
problematic  question. 

Occasionally,  however,  the  depicting  of  individuals  by  the 

;  historiographer  has  to  be  read  aim  grano  salts;  as  he  would 

"  allow  his  imagination  to  run  riot  with  his  pencil  in  eulogizing 

c  those  persons  for  whom  he  entertained  sentiments  of  admira- 

-'  tion ;    but  in  the  essentials  of  history,  Gov.  John  Reynolds  is 

eminently  reliable,  his  biographical  utterance  being  merely  an 

expression  of  his  own  opinion — a  character  appended   to  the 

picture  by  "Old  Ranger". 

As  instances  of  the  value  added  to  the  original  matter  by  the 
annotations  and  addenda  of  the  publishers,  especial  attention  is 
called  to  the  picture  and  description  of  the  celebrated  Francois 
Vigo,  and,  inter  alia,  the  list  of  the  first  pensioners  who  received 



lands  under  acts  of  Congress;  while,  as  examples  of  how  his- 
tory, written  thirty  years  since,  may  be  augmented  in  value  by 
subsequent  research,  these  instances  are  cited : 

[From  the  Missouri  Gazette  and  Illinois  Advertiser,  Saturday,  May  25,  1816.] 


will  be  given  to  any  person  who  will  deliver  to  me,  in  Cahokia,  a  negro  boy  named 
Moses,  who  ran  away  from  me  in  Cahokia  about  two  months  since.  He  is  about  16 
years  old,  well  made,  and  did  belong  to  Messrs.  McNight  &  Brady  in  St.  Louis,  where 
he  has  been  seen  frequently,  and  is  supposed  to  be  harbored  there  or  about  there. 
He  had  on  a  hunting-shirt  when  he  left  me.  May  14,  1816.  JOHN  REYNOLDS." 

[From  the  Illinois  Herald,  Oct.  I,  1815.] 

"NOTICE. — I  have  for  sale  22  slaves.  Among  them  are  several  of  both  sexes, 
between  the  years  of  10  and  17  years.  If  not  shortly  sold,  I  shall  wish  to  hire  them 
in  Missouri  Territory.  I  have  also  for  sale  a  full-blooded  stud-horse,  a  very  large 
English  bull,  and  several  young  ones.  October  i,  1815.  NINIAN  EDWARDS." 

Both  the  above  advertisements  demonstrate  a  fact  of  which 
Gov.  Reynolds  says  nothing:  that  both  he  and  Gov.  Edwards 
were  adherents  of  the  "peculiar  institution",  and  believers  in 
the  doctrine  that  property  in  a  human  being  could  be  held  by 
legal  tenure;  and  that  no  inconsideration  for  the  feelings  of  his 
fellow-creatures  was  a  motor  in  Gov.  Reynolds'  entity  the  fol- 
lowing advertisement  will  manifest: 

[From  the  Illinois  Herald,  Kaskaskia,  111.,  Dec.  16,  1815.] 

"To  the  poor  people  of  Illinois  and  Missouri  Territory:  To  the  above  class  of 
mankind  whose  pecuniary  circumstances  will  not  admit  of  feeing  a  lawyer,  I  tender 
my  professional  services  as  a  lawyer,  in  all  courts  I  may  practise  in,  without  fee  or 
reward.  JOHN  REYNOLDS." 

The  paradox  of  a  man  owning  human  beings  and  treating 
them  as  chattels,  and  defending  the  legal  rights  of  poor  free- 
persons  gratis,  was  only  one  out  of  many  antagonisms  created 
by  the  ownership  of  slaves.  These  three  advertisements,  ex- 
humed from  old  newspaper  files,  testify  to  the  accession  of  fact 
gained  by  patient  investigation. 

Thus,  the  publishers  consider  themselves  justified  in  the  com- 
pleted volume  here  presented:  the  intrinsic  value  of  the  history 
is  conceded,  and  their  additions  are  merely  cumulative  evidence 
and  testimony;  and  this  republication  places  within  the  reach 
of  every  student  or  reader  this  intrinsically  and  extrinsically 
valuable  work,  and  the  knowledge  of  one's  own  country — which 
is  commended  as  peculiarly  desirable — is  easily  attainable  from 
the  writings  of  a  careful,  conscientious,  and  reliable  narrator. 


MY  friends  will  think  it  strange  that  I  have  written  a  book, 
no  matter  how  small  or  unpretending  it  may  be.  Having  the 
control  of  my  time  and  actions,  it  was  a  very  pleasant  occupa- 
tion to  employ  some  of  my  leisure  hours  to  write,  in  my  hum- 
ble manner,  "The  Pioneer  History  of  Illinois."  Time  is  rap- 
idly sweeping  off  from  the  scene  of  action  the  pioneers  of  our 
country;  and  even  the  recollection  of  their  actions  will  soon 
be  forgotten,  if  no  attempt  is  made  to  perpetuate  the  history 
of  this  worthy  and  noble  race  of  men. 

The  pioneers  suffered,  without  a  murmur,  all  the  privations 
and  difficulties  in  the  early  settlement  of  the  country;  and  by 
their  energy,  bravery,  and  sound  practical  sense,  the  country 
we  now  enjoy,  with  all  the  comforts  and  blessings  of  civilized 
life,  they  reclaimed  from  a  wilderness  infested  with  hostile  sav- 
ages and  wild  beasts. 

It  is  a  story  of  these  pioneers,  French,  British,  and  Amer- 
icans, in  their  discovery  and  early  settlement  of  Illinois,  that  I 
now  attempt  to  narrate.  Moreover,  I  know  of  no  work,  of 
this  character,  that  is  confined  solely  to  the  discovery  and 
early  settlement  of  Illinois,  but  the  present  unpretending  one, 
which  is  now  presented  to  the  public.  This  was  some  induce- 
ment to  the  task.  I  hope  my  humble  performance  may  please 
and  interest  the  reader,  as  it  has  done  the  writer. 

Among  the  many  authors  I  consulted  on  this  subject,  I 
obtained  much  valuable  information  from  the  works  of  my 
friend,  the  talented  and  Rev.  Mr.  PECK,  of  St.  Clair  County, 
111.  Many  facts  stated  in  the  "Pioneer  History,"  since  the 
year  1800,  came  under  my  own  personal  observation,  which 
may  be  relied  on  as  true. 

This  humble  attempt  at  history  must  speak  for  itself;  and 
the  only  recommendation  I  can  give  it,  is,  I  think  it  contains 
the  truth. 


BELLEVILLE,  ILL.,  1852. 


Gov.  JOHN  REYNOLDS,        -  -            Frontispiece 

Fort  Chartres,  Plan  of  46 

Gen.  GEORGE  ROGERS  CLARK,       ...  s^ 

Gen.  JOHN  EDGAR,       -  -            -            -            -  116 

Rev.  JOHN  MASON  PECK,  -            -            -  253 

HENRY  GRATIOT,  ....  309 

Gov.  SHADRACH  BOND,       -  ...  323 

Gov.  NINIAN  EDWARDS,  ...  367 

Hon.  DANIEL  POPE  COOK,  ....  395 

Gov.  JOSEPH  DUNCAN,  .....  403 

Col.  FRANgois  VIGO,  ...  423 



The  Indians  of  Illinois,  .  .  .  I7 


The  Discovery  and  Settlement  of  Illinois,  to  the  first  Government  ot 
the  "Company  of  the  West,"  in  1718,  -  -  -       25 

Illinois  under  the  French  Government,-          -  -  .  46   -^ 

Illinois  under  the  British  Government,     -  -  -  -74 

Illinois  under  the  Government  of  Virginia,  -  .  g, 


Illinois  under  the  Government  of  the  Northwest  Territory,        -     145 

The  Religion  and  Morals  of  Illinois  prior  to  1818,  -  253      _- 

Illinois  under  the  Government  of  Indiana  Territory,     -  -     276      -*. 

Illinois  under  the  Government  of  the  Illinois  Territory,      -          365 

Appendix,  .  .  .'  4,9  ' 





The  Indians  of  Illinois. 

IT  is  difficult  to  give  to  the  history  of  the  Indians  of  Illinois 
any  thing  like  authenticity.  The  information  we  obtain  on  this 
subject  is  frequently  founded  on  Indian  tradition,  which  is  often 
destitute  of  truth. 

The  explorers  of  the  country  from  Canada,  in  the  year  1673, 
found  certain  Indians  southwest  of  Lake  Michigan,  whose  gen- 
eric name  was  known  as  Illinois,  or  Illini,  as  Hennepin  wrote 
it.  Those  Indians  having  that  name,  and  residing  on  the  banks 
of  the  river,  gave  that  name  to  the  Illinois  River,  and  to  the 
whole  country,  down  to  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio. 

We  are  informed  that  Illini  means,  according  to  the  Indian 
understanding  of  that  word,  "real  men"  or  "superior  men." 
The  Delaware  Indians  attach  the  same  meaning  to  Lenni,  and 
indicates,  in  their  language,  "real,  or  superior  men." 

The  writers  on  this  subject  state:  that  almost  all  the  Indians 
of  North  America  are  of  the  Algonquin  <race,  except  the  Iro- 
quois.  We  may  therefore  conclude  that  the  Delaware  name  of 
Lenni,  or  Lenni-Lenape,  is  the  same  as  the  Illini,  which  gave 
the  name  of  Illinois.  If  we  take  Indian  tradition  for  our  guide, 
we  may  conclude  that  the  Delawares  and  the  Illinois  Indians 
are  of  the  same  family.  Many  of  the  western  tribes  call  the 
Delawares  their  "Grandfathers." 

It  is  an  Indian  tradition,  that  the  Indians  inhabiting  the 
country  between  Virginia  and  Canada  were  of  two  races — the 
Lenni-Lenape  an.d  the  Mengwc.  The  Lenni-Lenape  were  the 
Delawares,  and  the  Mengwe  the  Iroquois  or  Five  Nations.  The 
tradition  states  further,  that  the  Lenni-Lenape  emigrated  from 
the  Far-west,  to  the  Namce-si-sipu — Mississippi  or  Fish  River — 




and  there  they  found  the  Mengwe,  who  also  came  from  the 
West,  and  inhabited  the  country  toward  the  sources  of  the  Mis- 
sisippi.  These  migrating  tribes  found  a  great  warlike  nation, 
the  Allewige,  located  in  the  country  between  the  Mississippi 
and  the  Alleghany  mountains.  This  nation  gave  the  name  of 
Alleghany  to  the  river  and  mountains  of  that  name.  The  Del- 
awares  and  Iroquois  united  and  conquered  the  country  from 
the  Allewige.  This  Indian  story  is  fortified  by  the  missionaries 
Heckewelder  and  Zeisberger.  It  is  a  fact,  which  is  better  than 
tradition,  that  the  Iroquois  conquered  and  drove  out  west  the 
Delawares.  The  Delawares  being  relations  of  the  western 
Indians,  and  being  forced  out  amongst  their  cousins,  they  may 
have  given  the  name  Illini  to  the  Indians  inhabiting  the  banks 
of  the  Illinois  River. 

The  derivation  of  the  name,  Illinois,  is  not  important.  The 
State  and  country  have  the  name,  and  the  citizens  feel  proud  of 

The  Illinois  Indians  are  of  the  Miami  stock,  as  well  as  the 
Delaware,  and  in  the  year  1673,  when  the  whites  first  visited 
the  West,  they  occupied  the  country  south  of  a  line  from  about 
the  lower  rapids  of  the  Mississippi  to  Ottawa,  and  down  to  the 
mouth  of  the  Ohio. 

The  Illinois  confederacy  embraced  five  tribes:  the  Peorias, 
Cahokias,  Tammarais,  Mitchagamies,  and  Kaskaskias.  The 
Mitchagamies  at  first  occupied  the  shores  of  Lake  Michigan, 
and  gave  the  name  to  that  Lake.  Afterwards,  we  find  them 
located  on  the  Mississippi  near  Fort  Chartres,  in  the  present 
county  of  Monroe,  Illinois.  They  inhabited  this  tract  of  coun- 
try before  the  year  1720,  as  the  French  Government  reserved 
their  lands  from  the  whites  from  that  date.  Afterward  they 
became  extinct  as  a  nation,  and  the  remnants  merged  into  the 
Kaskaskia  tribe.  The  Peorias,  Cahokias,  and  Kaskaskias  occu- 
pied respectively  the  villages  of  Peoria,  Cahokia,  and  Kaskaskia, 
and  the  country  adjacent.  The  French  continued  the  names  of 
these  villages,  which  they  retain  to  this  day.  The  Tammarais 
inhabited  also  the  village  of  Cahokia,  and  the  "country  'round 
about."  They  have  left  no  name  of  any  locality  indicating 
their  residence  in  Illinois,  except,  perhaps,  the  Twelve- Mile 
Prairie,  in  St.  Clair  County.  In  olden  times,  this  prairie  was 

PIONEER   HISTORY   OF   ILLINOIS.  »         19 

called  "'Prairie  TammaraisT  The  tribe  may  have  had  a  vil- 
lage in  or  near  this  prairie;  but  it  has  been  swept  off  by  time, 
so  that  their  existence  is  only  known  in  history. 

These  were  the  confederated  tribes  of  Illinois  Indians,  who 
were  gradually  driven  off  by  their  enemies  from  the  north  to 
the  south,  until  they  took  refuge  amongst  the  whites,  near  the 
villages  of  Kaskaskia  and  Cahokia.  They  diminished  for  more 
than  one  hundred  y.ears,  and  left  the  country  at  last,  being  a 
remnant  only  of  their  former  greatness. 

A  melancholy  reflection  forces  itself  on  us:  that  the  nearer 
the  Indians  reside  to  the  white  population,  so  much  the  worse 
it  is  for  the  Indians;  and  all  the  attempts  heretofore  made 
the  most  worthy  and  pious  men  to  Christianize  and  civilize  the 
nations  have  produced  an  injury  rather  than  a  blessing  to  them. 
There  may  be  some  exceptions  to  this  statement;  but  they  are 
only  exceptions  which  do  not  disprove  the  statement.  The 
policy  of  the  United  States  to  remove  the  Indians  as  far  as  pos- 
sible from  the  white  population  is  the  only  course  to  preserve 
their  existence.  And  it  is  doubtful,  even  if  this  humane  policy 
will  secure  them  from  annihilation. 

The  Piankeshaws  inhabited  the  country  on  both  sides  of  the 
Wabash  toward  its  mouth,  and  between  the  sources  of  the  Kas- 
kaskia and  Saline  rivers,  to  the  Ohio.  They  have  left  no  name 
in  the  country  they  occupied. 

The  Shawnee  Indians  had  a  village,  in  ancient  times,  on  the 
north  bank  of  the  Ohio  River,  and  inhabited  the  adjacent  coun- 
try. The  same  site  is  now  occupied  by  Shawneetown,  in  Gal- 
latin  County,  Illinois. 

The  Miamis  inhabited  the  northeastern  section  of  the  present 
State  of  Illinois;  but  their  country  mostly  lay  east  of  that. 

The  Pottawatomie  Indians  occupied  in  modern  times  a  large 
portion  of  the  northeast  section  of  Illinois.  They  were  a  branch 
of  the  great  Chippeway  nation,  and  were  also  connected  with  the 
ancient  Miamis.  They  extended  their  hunting  and  fishing 
almost  the  whole  length  of  the  Illinois  River.  But  toward  Chi- 
cago was  their  main  residence.  Branches  of  this  nation  ex- 
tended to  Wisconsin,  Michigan,  and  Indiana.  They  were  the 
largest  nation  of  the  West  in  modern  times,  and  figured  feroci- 
ously in  the  wars  against  the  whites. 


The  Winnebagoes,  or  Puants,  as  the  French  called  them, 
from  their  unsavory  and  "ancient  fishy  smell,"  inhabited  the 
country  west  of  Green  Bay.  The  old  French  maps  often  call 
this  bay  Le  Bale  des  Puants,  for  these  Indians. 

These  Indians  occupied  a  section  of  the  northern  part  of 
Illinois,  on  Rock  River;  but  their  country,  for  the  most  part, 
lay  north  and  east  of  that  in  Illinois.  They  were  a  tolerably 
large  nation;  but  dirty  and  savage  in  their  habits.  If  we  can 
say  anything  of  the  Indians — that  they  advanced  in  civilization 
— it  will  be  nearer  true  to  say:  the  Winnebagoes  advanced 

There  is  a  tradition  amongst  the  Winnebagoes,  and  other 
nations,  that  the  Winnebagoes  emigrated  from  the  West,  and 
settled  near  the  lakes.  They  claim  no  connexion  with  the 
other  Indians,  nor  do  I  think  there  is  any.  Their  language  is 
different  from  any  other  near  them.  Almost  all  the  nations  in 
the  West  have  some  affinity  in  their  language,  except  the 
Puants.  They  speak  a  gutteral  language,  and  it  is  very  diffi- 
cult to  learn  or  speak  it.  An  interpreter  must  be  raised  with 
them,  to  be  able  to  speak  or  understand  their  language.  They 
are  stout,  robust  people,  and  about  the  copper  color  of  their 
Indian  neighbors.  Their  cheek  bones  are  higher,  and  they  are 
generally  a  degree  more  uncouth  and  savage  than  the  other 
tribes  near  them.  I  presume,  they  are  not  connected  with  any 
of  the  other  tribes  in  the  West. 

A  small,  but  energetic  tribe  of  Indians,  the  Kickapoos,  resided 
on  the  east  side  of  the  State  of  Illinois,  between  the  Illinois  and 
Wabash  Rivers,  and  including  the  Sangamon  River  and  the 
country  thereabout.  Some  lived  in  villages  near  the  Elk- 
Heart  Grove,  and  on  the  Mackinaw  River.  They  claimed 
relationship  with  the  Pottawatomies,  and  perhaps  the  Sauks 
and  Foxes  also.  This  nation  \vas  the  most  bitter  enemy  the 
whites  ever  had.  It  may  be  said  in  truth  of  this  tribe,  that  they 
were  the  "first  in  a  battle,  and  the  last  at  a  treaty  with  the 
Americans."  They  were  more  civilized,  and  possessed  more 
energy  and  talents  than  the  other  Indians  in  their  vicinity. 
They  were  also  more  industrious  and  cleanly.  They  were 
better  armed  for  war  or  the  chase.  This  energy,  and  their  im- 
placable enmity  to  the  United  States,  caused  them  to  be  first 


and  the  most  efficient  in  all  the  Indian  battles  with  the  whites 
in  the  Northwest.  They  bore  a  conspicuous  part  against  Har- 
mar,  St.  Clair,  and  Wayne;  and  at  Tippecanoe  they  were  first 
in  all  the  bloody  charges  of  that  savage  battle.  The  Kickapoos 
disliked  the  United  States  so  much,  that  they  decided  that 
when  they  left  Illinois,  that  they  would  not  reside  within  the 
limits  of  our  Government:  but  settle  in  Texas.  What  will  they 
do  now?  Texas  is  annexed,  and  forms  a  part  of  the  Union. 
The  northern  tribes  of  Indians  waged  a  destructive  war  against 
the  Illinois  Indians  for  ages,  and  at  last  nearly  exterminated 
them.  The  last  hostile  attack  was  made  by  the  Kickapoos,  in 
1805,  against  the  poor  Kaskaskia  Indian  children.  These  chil- 
dren were  gathering  strawberries  in  the  prairie  above  Kaskas- 
kia, in  this  year,  and  their  relentless  enemy  captured  and  car- 
ried away  a  considerable  number  of  them.  The  Kaskaskias 
followed  the  Kickapoos,  to  recapture  the  children,  a  long  dis- 
tance; but  failed  to  overtake  them.  The  enemy  escaped  with 
the  children  to  their  towns,  and  thus  ended  this  outrage. 

Power  in  the  hands  of  frail  man — Indian  or  white — is  apt  to 
be  abused.  The  Northern  Indians  destroyed  the  Illinois  tribes, 
because  they  had  the  power;  and  then  the  white  man  destroys 
the  Indian,  and  occupies  his  country  because  the  civilized  man 
has  the  power. 

"Man's  inhumanity  to  man  makes  countless  thousands  mourn." 

The  Sauks  and  Foxes  emigrated -from  the  lakes  west,  and 
occupied  the  country  on  both  sides  of  the  Mississippi,  of  whose 
residence  Rock  Island  was  about  the  centre.  These  Indians 
extended  their  hunting-ground  toward  Peoria,  and  to  Galena 
and  Wisconsin.  They  are  a  large,  stout,  well-made  people,  and 
not  so  dark  as  the  southern  Indians.  It  was  a  band  of  these 
natives,  called  the  British,  or  Black- Hawk  Band,  that  caused 
so  much  trouble  and  expense  to  the  United  States,  in  the  years 
1831-2.  Not  only  the  expense,  but  many  valuable  lives  were 
lost  in  this  war,  commonly  known  as  the  Black-Hawk  War. 

The  Sauks  and  Foxes  drove  back  the  weaker  nation — the 
lovvas — and  occupied  the  country  wherein  the  State  of  Iowa  is 

In  the  year  1778,  Julien  Dubuque,  a  Canadian  and  a  man  of 


talent  and  great  enterprise,  established  a  trading -post,  near 
the  present  city  of  Dubuque,  in  Iowa.  This  trader  was  in  fact 
a  talented  man,  and  was  as  such  recognized  by  the  Indians. 
All  grave  and  important  matters  they  submitted  to  his  decision. 
The  Indians,  in  a  drunken  frolic,  caught  a  horse  near  the  post 
of  Dubuque — two  got  on  the  horse  and  run  him  throu'  the  prai- 
rie. The  horse  fell  and  killed  one  of  the  Indians.  This  homi- 
cide caused  a  bitter  quarrel  between  the  families  of  the  two 
Indians.  The  family  of  the  deceased  insisted  on  revenge,  and 
that  was  to  be  blood.  The  other  side  contended  it  was  an  acci- 
dent, and  blood  should  not  be  shed  for  it.  The  parties  submit- 
ted the  case  to  Dubuque,  for  his  decision.  After  hearing  the 
statements,  Dubuque,  in  a  grave  and  serious  manner,  pronounced 
judgment:  that  it  was  just  and  right  to  have  blood  for  blood — 
that  no  man  had  a  right  to  shed  his  brother's  blood  without 
having  blood  shed  for  it.  But  Dubuque,  in  a  most  solemn  and 
severe  manner,  also  pronounced:  that  two  Indians,  one  of  each 
family,  should  mount  the  same  horse,  and  run  him  throu'  the 
prairie,  until  one  or  the  other  Indian  be  killed.  This  judgment 
reached  the  common-sense  of  the  Indians  and  quieted  the  par- 
ties; and  also  raised  Dubuque  high  in  the  estimation  of  the 

The  city  of  Dubuque  is  called  for  this  man,  whose  grave  is 
situated  near  it.  For  years  after  Dubuque's  death,  the  Indians 
kept  a  lamp  burning  at  his  grave  every  night,  in  honor  of  his 
memory.  He  was  much  esteemed  by  the  whites  as  well  as  by 
the  Indians. 

It  is  impossible  to  ascertain  the  precise  dates  of  Indian  migra- 
tions. There  are  no  records  kept  of  the  movements  of  Indians. 
Not  long  after  the  first  whites  came  to  the  country,  in  1673,  the 
Illinois  Indians  were  started  south  by  their  enemies,  and  in 
1720  the  Mitchagamia  band  was  located  on  .the  Mississippi  near 
Fort  Chartres.  Before  the  year  1730,  the  most  of  the  Illinois 
Indians  were  forced  south  from  the  Illinois  River.  Kaskaskia 
was  the  last  place  of  refuge  for  the  whole  of  the  Illinois  confed- 
eracy, united  into  the  Kaskaskia  band,  and  from  this  place  the 
tribe  migrated  west.  About  the  year  1800,  the  whole  confed- 
erated tribes  amounted  to  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  warriors. 

At  this  time  the  Kaskaskia  tribe  had  for  their  chief,  Ducoign, 


who  was  a  cunning  man,  and  had  considerable  talents.  He  was 
a  half-breed,  and  was  well  qualified  to  take  charge  of  his  nation 
in  their  present  condition.  He  boasted  of  never — he  or  his 
nation — shedding  white  blood.  This  no  doubt  was  true;  but 
the  reason  was  that  he  and  nation  depended  on  the  whites  for 
support  and  protection.  He  had  visited  President  Washington 
at  Philadelphia,  and  wore  a  medal  received  from  his  great  father, 
as  he  called  the  President.  He  had  two  sons,  Louis  and  Jeffer- 
son Ducoign,  who  were  drunken,  worthless  men. 

A  Peoria  Indian,  being  bribed  by  the  British,  stabbed  to 
death,  in  the  streets  of  Cahokia,  the  celebrated  Pontiac,  the 
greatest  Indian  warrior,  perhaps,  that  ever  existed.  This  was 
one  main  reason  the  northern  Indians  were  so  bitter  against 
those  of  Illinois. 

These  Kaskaskia  Indians  were  afraid  to  venture  out  far  from 
the  white  settlements,  on  account  of  the  hostility  of  the  other 
Indians.  This  almost  forced  them  to  starvation.  Their  spirit 
and  national  character  were  destroyed;  and  they  became  a 
degenerate  people,  always  drunk,  when  they  could  obtain  the 
liquor.  By  these  means,  they  diminished,  not  only  in  numbers, 
but  also  in  standing  or  character,  until  a  few  years  ago  the  rem- 
nants of  them  moved  to  the  Southwest. 

Although  it  may  seem  hard,  to  force  the  Indians  from  their 
own  country  to  accommodate  the  white  population,  yet  it  is  the 
only  wise  and  humane  policy  that  can  be  adopted.  The  two 
classes  of  people  can  not  live  in  peace  together.  The  tide  of 
white  population  is  flowing  on,  and  the  Indians  must  recede 
from  it.  It  is  a  heart-rending  sight  to  see  the  poor  natives 
driven  from  their  own  country.  Their  tears  and  lamentations 
on  leaving  Illinois  would  pierce  a  heart  of  stone. 

We  must  submit  to  the  decrees  of  Providence.  It  is  quite 
possible,  that  these  same  tribes  drove  off  the  peaceable  occu- 
pants of  the  country,  and  then  took  possession  of  it  by  force,  as 
we  have  done.  Moreover,  I  think  Providence  will  be  best 
pleased  in  having  a  greater  number  of  the  human  family  in 
existence  than  a  few.  A  white  population  can  sustain  more 
numbers  on  the  same  territory  than  the  Indian  mode  of  living 
will  permit.  Nevertheless,  it  is  difficult  to  find  good  reasons 
for  the  expulsion  of  the  Indians  from  their  own  country.  But, 


with,  or  without  reason,  the  Indians  must  emigrate,  leaving  Illi- 
nois— the  finest  country  on  earth,  for  the  peaceable  occupation 
of  the  white  man. 

There  is  another  etimology  of  the  name  of  Illinois.  It  is 
said,  it  is  derived  from  Isle  an  Noix,  the  "Island  of  Nuts,"  in 
English.  It  is  well  known,  that  when  the  French  first  discov- 
ered the  country,  they  were  excited  and  enchanted  with  its  fer- 
tility, climate,  products,  grapes,  etc.,  etc.;  and  no  doubt  it  was 
also  blessed  with  nuts.  And  as  the  country  was  almost  sur- 
rounded with  rivers — the  Mississippi,  the  Ohio,  Wabash,  Illi- 
nois, and  Lake  Michigan  on  the  northeast — the  country,  in  fact, 
was  nearly  an  Island;  so  that  it  was  not  so  unreasonable  that 
the  country  should  be  called  Isle  au  Noix.  The  sound  of  Isle- 
au-noix  in  French,  is  almost  similar  to  that  of  Illinois. 

CHAPTER    II.    % 

The  Discovery  and  Settlement  of  Illinois;  to  the  first  Government  of 
the  "Company  of  the  West,"  in  1718. 

JAMES  MARQUETTE,  a  Jesuit  missionary,  first  conceived  the 
idea  to  explore  the  Mississippi,  and  suggested  it  to  M.  Talon, 
the  intendant  of  Canada.  At  length  the  governor  of  Canada, 
M.  Talon,  assisted  Father  Marquette  in  this  laudable  expedi- 
tion, and  joined  with  him  M.  Joliet,  a  merchant  of  Quebec. 

The  first  white  men  that  saw  the  Mississippi  were  DeSoto 
and  his  army  in  the  year  1541.  They  crossed  the  Mississippi 
about  the  site  of  the  present  city  of  Memphis,  Tennessee.  The 
next  were  Marquette  and  Joliet,  Frenchmen  from  Canada,  in 
the  year  1673.  The  Mississippi  lay  quiet  from  the  time  DeSoto 
explored  the  lower  Mississippi,  until  the  indefatigable  Jesuit, 
Marquette,  entered  it  at  the  mouth  of  the  Wisconsin. 

In  early  times,  two  passions  entered  deep  into  the  breasts  of 
the  people  of  Europe:  one  the  Christianization  of  the  North 
American  Indians;  and  the  other,  a  northwest  passage  to  the 
East  Indies  and  China.  Both  of  these  popular  enterprises  sank 
deep  into  the  heart  of  Marquette;  but  particularly  the  conver- 
sion of  the  Indians  to  the  Christian  faith.  M.  Joliet  was  a  mer- 
chant of  Quebec,  and  no  doubt  possessed  the  common  mania  of 
that  day,  for  the  Indian  trade  if  nothing  higher  or  better. 

I  am  sorry  I  can  not  find  much  material  for  the  history  of 
Marquette.  He  was,  so  far  as  I  can  discover,  the  Napoleon, 
the  ne plus  ultra  of  all  the  Indian  missionaries  in  the  Northwest. 
He  was  a  Recollect  monk  and  Jesuit,  and  was  fired  with  all 
the  zeal  and  enthusiasm  of  that  order  of  religionists.  He  fol- 
lowed the  footsteps  of  Layola,  his  illustrious  predecessor,  in  all 
religious  duties,  so  far  as  he  had  the  ability  to  act.  He  had 
abandoned  the  Old  World,  and  the  common  comforts  and  en- 
joyments of  life,  for  the  sole  object  of  Christianizing  the  Indians 
in  the  wilds  of  America.  He  gave  himself  up  entirely  to  the 



most  severe  and  dangerous  services — to  uncommon  hardships 
and  perils,  and  almost  starvation  itself,  amongst  the  wildest 
savages  of  North  America.  All  these  dangers  and  perils  did 
he  perform  and  endure,  with  the  greatest  pleasure;  because  his 
conscience  assured  him  he  was  doing  the  will  of  God  Among 
all  the  devout  and  benevolent  Indian  missionaries,  Marquette, 
for  his  true  piety,  holiness  of  purpose,  and  grand  enterprises  he 
performed,  stands  unrivalled  in  the  West.  He  at  last  ended  his 
days,  as  he  had  lived  them,  in  the  actual  service  of  God. 

The  Jesuits,  at  this  time,  were  the  most  energetic  order  of 
Christians  in  Europe.  There  was  no  country  on  the  globe  but 
the  Jesuits  visited  and  administered  to  the  spiritual  wants  of 
the  people.  Such  was  the  case  in  the  northwest  of  America. 
No  Indian  nation  was  too  far  off,  or  too  wild,  to  deter  these 
•  Jesuit  missionaries  from  visiting.  And  Marquette  was  always 
first  to  do  good  in  these  missions. 

In  the  year  1669,  he  had  been  out  west  of  Green  Bay,  or 
Le  Bale  du  Puants,  as  the  French  sometimes  called  it,  prepar- 
ing the  Indians  for  his  great  enterprise  West,  and  obtaining  an 
Indian  of  the  remote  region  of  the  Mississippi,  for  an  interpreter. 

These  preparations  being  made,  he  and  Joliet  left  Mackinac, 
the  mission-station  of  Marquette,  on  the  I3th  May,  1673,  for 
Green  Bay.  Father  Marquette  had  been  all  thro'  this  region  of 
country,  and  had  acquired  an  excellent  character  amongst  all 
the  nations,  for  his  piety  and  kindness  to  the  Indians. 

In  two  canoes,  with  five  men,  Marquette  and  Joliet  left  the 
missionary-station  of  Green  Bay,  on  the  loth  June,  1673,  for 
the  far- West.  The  Indians  gave  a  terrible  history  of  the  mon- 
sters in  the  great,  river — that  would  swallow  them  up  and  their 
canoes.  The  Maneto  at  the  Piasa  was  represented  as  devour- 
ing all  passengers.  This  was  to  deter  Marquette  from  his  voy- 
age; but  he  had  the  same  fearless  courage  that  Martin  Luther 
possessed,  when  his  friends  persuaded  him  not  to  make  a  cer- 
tain journey  in  Germany. 

The  explorers  passed  over  the  portage  between  Fox  River 
and  the  Wisconsin,  and  down  the  latter  to  the  Mississippi. 
They  saw  the  Mississippi  for  the  first  time,  June  I7th,  1673, 
and  "entered  it,"  Marquette  says  in  his  journal,  "with  a  joy  I 
can  not  express."  No  doubt  the  hearts  of  these  enthusiastic 


French  bounded  with  joy  at  the  sight  of  this  noble  and  majestic 
river.  I 

They  floated  down  the  river  about  one  hundred  miles,  and  on 
the  west  side  they  discovered  Indians.  To  use  the  pious  lan- 
guage of  Marquette,  "they  commended  themselves  to  God,  and 
approached  the  village."  They  remained  with  this  tribe  for  six 
days,  and  "in  full  council"  Marquette  "proclaimed  to  them  the 
one  true  God,  the  Creator."  The  journal  of  Marquette  reports 
that  "they  passed  the  most  beautiful  confluence  of  rivers  in  the 
world,"  where  the  Missouri,  called  by  the  Indians  Peckitanoni, 
mingles  its  muddy  waters  with  the  Mississippi.  They  mention 
the  painted  rock* — the  Piasa — near  the  present  city  of  Alton. 
They  saw  also  the  great  rock,  the  grand  Tower,  in  the  Missis- 
sippi, and  came  to  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio,  which  they  mistook 
for  the  Wabash  River. 

It  is  well-authenticated  history,  that  the  hostility  of  the  Iro- 
quois  Indians  kept  the  French  from  any  knowledge  of  the 
Ohio  River  for  many  years  after  the  voyage  of  Marquette  and 
Joliet  to  the  West ;  and  for  a  long  time,  the  Ohio  River  was 
called  the  Wabash  from  the  mouth  of  the  Wabash  down  to  the 
junction  of  the  Ohio  with  the  Mississippi. 

After  a  few  days'  delay  at  the  junction  of  the  Ohio,  Mar- 
quette and  Joliet  passed  down  the  river  to  the  Arkansas  Indians, 
in  latitude  33  degrees  north.  At  this  point,  the  party  narrowly 
escaped  destruction  by  the  Arkansas  Indians. 

The  pious-hearted  Marquette  says,  "they  resolutely  presented 
the  peace-pipe  to  the  warriors,  and  God  softened  their  hearts;" 
so  the  explorers  escaped  unhurt.  They  descended  no  further. 
This  party  reached  somewhere  on  the  river,  about  the  place 
that  DeSoto  crossed  it  in  the  year  1541. 

*  I  saw  what  was  called  the  picture  sixty  years  since,  long  before  it  was  marred 
by  quarrymen  or  the  tooth  of  time,  and  I  never  saw  anything  that  would  have 
impressed  my  mind  that  it  was  intended  to  represent  a  bird.  I  saw  daubs  of  coloring 
matter  that  I  supposed  exuded  from  the  rocks  that  might,  to  very  impressible  people, 
bear  some  resemblance  to  a  bird  or  a  dragon,  after  they  were  told  to  look  at  it  in 
that  light,  just  as  we  fancy  in  certain  arrangements  of  the  stars  we  see  animals,  etc., 
in  the  constellations.  I  did  see  the  marks  of  the  bullets  shot  by  the  Indians  against 
the  rocks  in  the  vicinity  of  that  so-called  picture.  Their  object  in  shooting  at  this 
place  I  never  could  comprehend.  I  do  not  think  the  story  had  its  origin  among  the 
Indians  or  was  one  of  their  superstitions,  but  was  introduced  to  the  literary  world  by 
John  Russell  of  Bluff  Dale,  111.,  who  wrote  a  beautiful  story  about  it. — J.  GILLESPIE, 
Jan.  25,  1883. 


Marquette,  being  a  little  shocked  by  the  warriors  of  the  Ar- 
kansas, and  also  hearing  it  was  a  long  voyage  yet  to  the  ocean, 
determined  to  return  to  the  lakes.  But  after  the  reconciliation 
with  the  Indians,  they  feasted  on  corn  and  dogs.  This  tribe 
cooked  in  and  eat  out  of  earthen-ware,  and  were  at  last  kind 
and  loving  to  their  French  friends. 

On  the  1 7th  July,  1673,  Marquette  and  company  commenced 
to  ascend  the  river.  At  the  mouth  of  the  Illinois,  the  Indians 
informed  the  explorers,  that  to  ascend  that  river  it  was  shorter 
to  the  lakes  than  by  the  route  of  the  Wisconsin.  The  party 
ascended  the  Illinois,  and  entered  the  lake  at  the  present  city 
of  Chicago;  and  in  September  they  reached  Green  Bay  in 
safety,  not,  during  their  voyage,  losing  a  man,  or  receiving  any 
hurt  or  injury  whatever.  Marquette  writes  that,  "no  where  did 
we  see  such  grounds,  meadows,  woods,  stags,  buffaloes,  deer, 
wildcats,  bustards,  swans,  paroquets,  and  even  beavers,  as  on  the 
Illinois  River." 

It  is  true,  as  Marquette  states,  that  there  are  "no  grounds" 
on  earth  superior  in  fertility  and  productiveness,  than  are  found 
for  many  miles  on  each  side  of  the  Illinois  River. 

After  the  return  of  Marquette  and  Joliet  to  Green  Bay,  the 
latter  proceeded  to  Quebec,  while  our  pious  Christian  quietly 
returned  to  his  Indian  charge,  laboring  night  and  day  to  save 
the  heathen  from  destruction. 

Joliet,  on  his  way  to  Canada,  lost  his  papers,  and  nearly  his 
life,  by  the  upsetting  of  his  canoe.  By  this  misfortune  the  nar- 
rative of  the  discovery  of  the  great  Father  of  Waters  was  lost. 
Marquette  cared  not  so  much  for  the  discovery  of  the  country, 
as  the  discovery  of  Indians,  so  they  might  be  converted  to  God 
from  savage  paganism.  Therefore  he  kept  a  very  limited  jour- 
nal of  their  voyage;  but  it  is  recognized  by  all  authors  as 
correct  and  true.  Thus  it  is,  that  we  find  very  little  in  detail 
of  this  discovery  of  a  country,  the  valley  of  the  Mississippi, 
which  is  not  equalled  for  fertility  of  soil,  climate,  extent,  and 
beautiful  surface,  on  the  globe.  This  valley  extends  from  the 
Alleghany  to  the  Rocky  Mountains,  a  distance  of  nearly  three 
thousand  miles,  and  from  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  to  the  sources  of 
the  Mississippi,  with  a  climate  of  the  temperate  zone,  congenial 
to  the  culture  of  almost  all  the  produce  of  the  earth.  This  val- 


ley  is  without  mountains  and  without  swamps,  intersected  with 
large  navigable  rivers,  and  possessing  a  surface  adapted  to  the 
construction  of  railroads  in  every  direction;  so  that,  in  fact, 
Marquette  saw  "a  terrestial  paradise,"  as  the  French  called  it, 
when  he  entered  this  valley,  in  1673. 

It  appears,  from  the  journal  of  Marquette,  that  they  were  as- 
tonished at  the  magnitude  of  their  discoveries — the  soil,  the 
products,  the  rivers,  buffaloes,  etc. ;  but  if  they  could  have  seen 
thro'  the  future  to  this  time — 1852 — they  would  be  still  more 
amazed  and  astonished.  The  improvements  of  the  country — 
the  cities  on  the  margins  of  the  rivers  they  sailed  on,  and  the 
large  steamboats  passing  their  bark  canoes,  would  cause  these 
Frenchmen  to  believe,  that  Omnipotent  power  alone  could 
effect  this  extraordinary  change.  Almost  the  same  conclusion 
will  be  forced  upon  all  rational  men:  that  the  unparalleled 
growth  of  the  United  States  is  fostered  by  Divine  Providence. 
Our  free  institutions,  in  the  hands  of  Deity,  are  the  foundation 
of  our  growth  and  prosperity.  The  Constitution  of  the  United 
States  presents  to  the  world  the  perfection  of  human  wisdom. 
Our  national  greatness  and  grandeur  rest  upon  this  glorious 
instrument.  It  binds  us  together  in  patriotic  love,  from  ocean 
to  ocean,  and  from  the  tropics  to  the  frozen  North ;  and  may 
God  bless  it  and  preserve  it  eternal. 

Marquette  and  Joliet,  on  their  return,  made  out  such  a  glow- 
ing report  that  it  set  all  Canada  on  fire,  and  also  swept  over 
France  like  a  tornado.  The  French,  always  excitable,  caught 
the  mania,  and  became  almost  crazy  to  see  and  settle  the  West. 
This  rage  for  western  enterprise  reached  LaSalle,  and  bound 
him  in  its  folds  during  the  remainder  of  his  life. 

Robert  de  La  Salle  was  a  native  of  the  city  of  Rouen,  in  Nor- 
.mandy,  France;  and  possessed  a  liberal  education.  By  some 
means  he  lost  his  patrimony  and  attached  himself  to  the  Jesu- 
its. It  is  stated  by  his  biographer,  that  he  was  a  scholar,  versed 
in  the  arts  and  sciences,  and  fitted  for  any  business.  The  great 
and  dominant  trait  of  his  character  was  an  iron  will,  and  a 
moral  and  physical  courage;  that  all  the  evils  of  life — all  the 
disasters  and  misfortune  that  man  is  heir  to — had  no  effect  on 
him.  A  despondency  or  retreat  found  no  place  in  his  charac- 
ter. He  also  possessed,  in  an  eminent  degree,  an  ungovernable 


When  a  character  of  this  description  gets  strongly  impressed 
with  a  great  enterprise,  he  becomes  enthusiastic  and  almost 
crazy  on  the  subject.  Such  was  the  case  with  LaSalle,  in  the 
discovery,  and  the  Indian  trade  of  the  far  West, 

LaSalle  arrived  in  Canada  in  the  year  1670,  and  had  become, 
to  some  extent,  acquainted  with  the  country,  at  the  time  Mar- 
quette  and  Joliet  reported  their  discoveries  of  the  West. 

He  was  strongly  impressed  with  the  notions  of  that  day,  to 
find  a  direct  passage  to  China.  He  supposed  a  river  might  be 
found  to-  ascend,  which  would  lead  a  northwest  route  to  the 
Pacific  Ocean.  He  also  urged  warmly  on  Frontenac,  the  gov- 
ernor-general of  Canada,  the  propriety,  and  even  the  necessity 
for  France  to  establish  a  line  of  forts  from  Canada  thro'  the 
Illinois  country  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  The  governor  entered 
into  the  views  of  LaSalle  with  ardor,  and  advised  him  to  lay 
his  plans  before  the  Government  of  France.  LaSalle  consented, 
and  set  sail  for  France  in  the  year  1675.  The  minister  of  the 
king,  the  great  Colbert,  approved  his  scheme,  and  entered 
warmly  into  the  subject.  LaSalle  was  created  chevalier,  and 
invested  with  the  Seigniory  of  Fort  Frontenac,  on  condition 
that  he  would  rebuild  the  fort.  He  returned  to  Canada  and 
labored  on  the  fort  to  the  close  of  the  year  1677.  Again  he 
returned  to  France,  and  was  received  with  favor  by  the  court. 
The  king  granted  him  new  privileges.  His  mission  having 
succeeded  so  well,  that  he  procured  his  lieutenant,  M.  Tonti, 
an  Italian,  and  thirty  men,  and  sailed  from  Rochelle  the  I4th 
July,  to  Quebec,  where  he  arrived  the  I5th  September,  1678. 
He  made  little  or  no  stay  at  Quebec;  but  proceeded  direct  to 
Fort  Frontenac.  This  fort  occupied  the  site  of  the  present 
town  of  Kingston,  in  Upper  Canada. 

Another  character  in  these  discoveries  was  Louis  Hennepin. 
He  was,  as  Marquette  was,  a  Recollect  monk  of  the  Jesuit 
order;  but  very  unlike  the  pious  and  pure-hearted  Marquette, 
in  almost  everything  else.  He  was  full  of  ambition  to  be  a 
discoverer — "daring,  hardy,  energic,  vain,  and  self-exaggerating, 
almost  to  madness."  He  possessed  talents  and  courage,  but 
was  ambitious  of  fame,  even  at  the  expense  of  truth. 

The  religious  superiors  of  Hennepin  appointed  him  to  pro- 
ceed with  the  expedition  of  LaSalle,  and  he  was  ready  at  Fort 
Frontenac,  October  1678. 


\Yhat  a  contrast  between  these  two  dignataries  of  the  church 
— Marquette  and  Hennepin.  One  dedicated  himself  entirely  to 
the  pious  and  holy  works  of  religion,  while  the  other  wore  the 
garb  of  religion  to  advance  his  own  fame. 

Marquette  returned  to  Illinois/and  pursued  his  holy  ambition 
in  converting  the  Indians  to  Christianity,  until  the  year  1675. 
On  the  1 8th  May  of  that  year,  he  was  with  his  boatmen  on 
Lake  Michigan,  and  proposed  to  stop  and  say  mass.  Leaving 
his  men  with  the  boat,  he  went  a  small  distance  to  pray.  He 
staid  some  time,  and  his  friends  became  alarmed  at  his  stay. 
They  called  to  mind  something  he  had  hinted ;  that  "he  should 
die  there."  They  found  the  reverend  father  dead,  in  the  post- 
ure of  praying.  The  death  of  Marquette  occurred  at  the  mouth 
of  a  small  river  emptying  into  the  lake  from  the  east,  which  is 
named  for  him,  and  there  he  was  buried  in  the  sand.  His  body 
would  have  been  exposed  to  the  rise  of  the  waters,  but  the  river 
retired  and  left  the  holy  man's  grave  in  peace.  Charlevoix  was 
at  the  place  some  fifty  years  after,  and  discovered  that  the 
waters  of  the  river  had  forced  a  passage  in  another  direction, 
and  cut  through  a  solid  bluff,  rather  than  to  disturb  this  good 
man's  grave.  Thus  ended  the  life  of  Marquette,  in  glory;  while 
Hennepin  enjoys  a  celebrity  of  another  character. 

LaSalle  and  party,  on  the  i8th  November,  1678,  embarked 
on  a  small  vessel  of  ten  tons,  from  Fort  Frontenac  to  the  West, 
and  in  four  weeks'  sailing  on  Lake  Ontario,  they  landed  near 
the  Niagara  River.  The  winter  was  setting  in,  and  they  remained 
in  that  neighborhood  until  the  next  spring. 

Another  vessel,  the  Griffon,  was  built  during  the  winter  and 
and  spring  of  1679,  at  the  mouth  of  Tonnawanto  Creek;  and 
during  this  time,  LaSalle  returned  again  to  Fort  Frontenac. 
On  his-  return  the  vessel  carrying  his  goods  was  destroyed,  and 
part  of  his  stores  lost.  This  was  the  first  of  a  series  of  misfor- 
tunes which  he  suffered. 

On  the  2Oth  January,  1679,  LaSalle  arrived  at  Niagara;  and 
this  whole  summer  was  employed  by  him,  in  preparing  for  the 
West,  gathering  furs,  etc. ;,  while  Chevalier  Tonty  was  sent  on 
West  to  prepare  the  way  for  LaSalle. 

On  the  7th  of  August,  1679,  the  Griffon  was  ready  to  sail. 
Then,  with  Te  Deum  and  discharge  of  fire-arms,  she  set  sail 
upon  Lake  Erie. 


At  Green  Bay  the  Griffon  was  loaded  with  furs,  and  sent  to 
Niagara,  while  LaSalle,  with  fourteen  men,  started  for  the  Mia- 
mis,  or  St.  Josephs.  There  the  party  waited  for  the  return  of 
the  Griffon.  At  this  point,  LaSalle  built  a  fort.  The  party, 
on  the  3d  December,  consisting  of  thirty  laborers,  and  three 
monks,  went  up  the  St.  Joseph,  crossed  the  portage  to  The-an- 
kc-ki,  now  Kankakee,  and  down  to  the  Illinois  River.  About 
the  last  of  December,  they  reached  a  village  of  the  Illinois  In- 
dians, containing  five  hundred  cabins;  but  no  inhabitants.  The 
travelers  discovered  a  large  quantity  of  corn,  and  being  in  great 
need  of  provisions,  took  as  much  of  this  article  as  satisfied  their 
wants.  This  village  is  supposed  to  have  been  near  the  Rock 
Fort,  LaSalle  County,  111.  The  party  entered  Peoria  Lake  on 
the  4th  January,  1680,  and  proceeded  some  distance  down  the 
River,  where  they  were  well  received  by  the  Indians.  They 
obtained  permission  of  the  Indians  to  erect  a  fort  at  this  place. 

About  the  middle  of  January,  the  news  of  the  loss  of  the 
Griffon  and  cargo  reached  LaSalle.  Other  disasters  also  visited 
him,  so  that  he  called  this  Fort  Creve  Coznr — in  English,  broken 
heart.  LaSalle  discovered  a  mutiny  amongst  his  men;  and 
also  the  Indians  were  excited  to  unfriendly  feelings  against  him. 
But  by  a  bold  and  daring  energy,  based  on  truth  and  honesty 
he  quieted  these  troubles  around  him.  Yet  his  heart  was  sorely 
afflicted,  as  the  name  of  this  fort  indicated.  He  was  far  in 
advance  of  the  settlements  of  Canada — amongst  Indians,  whose 
friendship  was  precarious  and  uncertain;  and  even  his  own  men, 
on  whom  he  was  compelled  to  rely  for  support  in  perils  and 
dangers,  were  disaffected.  Altho'  all  these  calamities  surrounded 
the  Chevalier  LaSalle,  he  hesitated  not  a  moment  in  the  pursuit 
of  his  daring  object,  the  exploration  and  the  commerce  of  the 

They  completed  the  fort  and  established  friendly  relations 
with  the  Indian  tribes  far  and  near. 

At  this  fort,  some  of  LaSalle's  own  men,  more  treacherous 
than  the  red  skins,  attempted  to  poison  him,  but  did  not  suc- 
ceed. This  great  man  was  richly  entitled  to  the  honor  of  being 
called  "Chevalier",  as  his  fortitude  and  resolution  never  for  a 
moment  forsook  him,  in  any  of  the  perilous  trials. 

He  organized  a  party  to  explore  the  upper  Mississippi;  while 


the  reliable  lieutenant  of  LaSalle,  the  Chevalier  Tonty,  would 
remain  in  the  Fort  Creve  Cceur,  and  the  brave  Norman  himself 
return  to  Fort  Frontenac. 

The  exploring  party  consisted  of  Louis  Hennepin,  M.  DuGay, 
or  D'Ucan,  and  six  Frenchmen,  oarsmen,  woodsmen,  or  other- 
wise, as  occasion  might  require. 

In  bark  canoes,  on  the  28th  of  February,  1680,  they  left  Fort 
Creve  Cceur  for  the  Mississippi,  and  waited  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Illinois  River  for  ten  days,  to  permit  the  floating  ice  in  the  Mis- 
issippi  to  pass  out.  Hennepin,  with  the  consent  of  LaSalle, 
called  the  western  side  of  the  Mississippi  Louisiana,  in  honor  of 
the  king  of  France,  and  the  Mississippi,  St.  Louis  River.  One 
of  these  names  remains  to  this  day,  while  the  old  Indian  name 
of  the  Mississippi  was  not  changed  by  the  French  explorers. 

Hennepin  and  party  proceeded  up  the  river  to  the  Great 
Falls,  which  he  called  St.  Anthony,  in  honor  of  his  patron  saint 
of  Padua.  On  a  tree  near  the  falls,  the  Franciscan  friar  and 
Jesuit  monk,  Hennepin,  caused  the  cross  and  arms  of  France  to 
be  carved. 

About  the  nth  of  April,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Wisconsin, 
Hennepin's  party  were  captured  by  the  Sioux  Indians;  and 
detained  in  captivity  for  several  months,  but  were  released. 
They  explored  the  river  above  the  falls,  up  to  latitude  44  deg. 
north,  but  not  to  the  source,  as  Hennepin  asserts.  They  met 
another  party  of  French  from  Lake  Superior,  under  the  com- 
mand of  Sieur  de  Luth,  trading  and  reconnoitring  the  country. 
They  returned  by  the  route  of  the  Wisconsin  to  Green  Bay,  the 
most  western  missionary  station. 

The  same  season,  1680,  Hennepin  was  ambitious  to  supercede 
LaSalle  in  the  discovery  of  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi — 
descended  the  Wisconsin  and  the  Mississippi  to  the  mouth  of 
Arkansas,  and  returned  late  in  the  year  to  the  upper  Illinois. 
He  then  returned  to  Europe,  and  got  into  the  hands  of  the 
British,  who  were  jealous  of  the  French  discoveries  in  the  New 
World,  and  the  said  monk  and  Jesuit  priest  published  an  inac- 
curate history  of  his  exploration  of  the  Mississippi.  His  book 
gave  the  world  an  untrue  view  of  the  discovery;  but  "truth  is 
powerful,"  and  did  prevail.  Altho'  Hennepin  is  suspected  of 
exaggeration,  yet  he  did  much,  and  showed  himself  a  great 


man.  And  I  would  ask  any  one  to  reflect  on  the  situation  of 
both  Hennepin  and  Marquette,  in  their  discoveries.  They 
made  these  explorations  without  means  and  almost  without 
men;  and  also  without  the  direct  sanction  of  their  Government. 
I  can  not  conceive  how  they  procured  their  supply  of  provi- 
sions. I  think  they  must  have  existed  greatly  on  energy  and 

The  Chevalier  LaSalle,  it  is  true,  had  the  authority  of  his 
Government  direct;  but  I  can  not  find  that  he  had  any  other 
support  from  his  king.  He  was  crippled  all  the  time  by  his 
commercial  operations. 

In  March,  1680,  LaSalle,  preparing  himself  with  a  gun  and 
powder,  with  deer-skins  for  moccasons,  and  a  sack  of  parched 
corn  on  his  back,  to  eat,  he  and  three  men  started  on  foot  from 
Fort  Crevc  Cceur  to  Frontenac.  This  was  a  dreary  and  perilous 
trip.  Not  only  had  LaSalle  to  pass  over  the  black  swamps  in 
the  northern  part  of  the  State  of  Ohio,  which  impeded  General 
Harrison  so  much  in  the  winter  of  1813  in  the  war  with  Great 
Britain ;  but  the  Iroquois  Indians  were  at  that  time  engaged  in 
a  war  with  the  French.  Altho'  the  journey  was  dangerous  and 
perilous,  he  arrived  safely  at  Fort  Frontenac  in  June. 

LaSalle  left  M.  Tonty  in  possession  of  Fort  Creve  Cceur  and 
the  country,  "with  orders  to  repair  Fort  St.  Louis." 

There  is  some  confusion  with  authors  in  regard  to  these  forts, 
and  their  precise  location.  There  were  two  forts:  one  called 
Creve  Cceur,  and  the  other  Rock,  or  Fort  St.  Louis.  Creve 
Cceur  was  located  somewhere,  I  presume,  on  the  southeast  side, 
eight  miles  above  Peoria,  on  the  lake;  and  Rock  Fort,  or  Fort 
St.  Louis,  at  either  the  Starved  Rock,  or  the  Buffalo  Rock,  in 
LaSalle  County,  Illinois.  It  is  difficult  to  determine  at  this 
day,  the  exact  location  of  either  of  these  forts.  The  Starved 
Rock,  or  the  Buffalo  Rock  either,  will  answer  the  description 
given  them  in  the  first  exploration  of  the  country.  I  have 
often  been  on  both  these  rocks,  and  think  there  is  not  room 
on  the  Starved  Rock  for  a  fortress.  Yet,  it  may  have  been 
large  enough  for  the  occasion.  It  is  easier  fortified  than  the 

The  tradition  of  the  Indians  being  starved  on  this  rock,  was 
unknown  to  the  pioneers,  or  else  we  would  have  had  the  name 


in  their  journals.  The  tradition  of  calling  this  rock  the  Starved 
Rock,  is  a  pretty  tale,  which  may  or  may  not  be  true.  The 
history  of  the  Buffalo  Rock  is  believed  by  many:  that  the 
French  and  Indians  drove  the  buffaloes  on  this  high  ground  on 
the  northeast  side,  and  forced  them  over  the  rocks  at  the  south- 
west, where  the  rocks  are  perpendicular,  and  thereby  killed 
them.  The  buffaloes  were  butchered,  and  the  meat  and  skins 
shipped  from  that  point  to  the  New  Orleans  market.  These 
are  the  traditions  of  the  names  of  these  two  localities  in  Illinois. 

Starved  Rock  and  Buffalo  Rock  are  both  situated  in,  or 
adjacent  to,  the  low  lands  of  the  Illinois  River;  and  they  and 
the  country  generally,  exhibit  indubitable  evidence  of  a  great 
volume  of  water,  at  some  remote  time,  having  passed  down  this 
valley  of  the  Illinois  River.  The  Buffalo  Rock  rises  up,  in  the 
midst  of  the  low  lands,  or  Illinois  Bottom,  to  a  great  height, 
and  is  perpendicular  on  three  sides.  It  must  have  been  an 
island  in  former  days,  when  this  whole  valley  of  the  Illinois 
River  was  water. 

At  this  remote  period,  the  waters  of  the  Niagara  River,  passed 
down  this  valley.  The  outlet  of  the  waters  of  the  lakes  was 
then  not  at  Niagara.  Since  the  discovery  of  the  country,  the 
rocks  at  the  falls  of  Niagara  have  been  worn  away  by  the  action 
of  the  water  flowing  over  them.  This  outlet  of  the  waters  has 
been  of  modern  date  to  the  ancient  discharge  of  the  waters  thro' 
the  Illinois  River.  Engineers  have  leveled  the  country  around 
the  lakes  and  find  that  if  the  chasm  at  the  falls  of  Niagara  was 
filled  up,  the  waters  of  the  lakes  would  pursue  their  ancient 
course  down  the  Illinois  River.  The  waters  broke  thro'  the 
rocks  at  Niagara,  and  turned  their  course  from  the  Illinois  River 
to  Lake  Ontario.  The  appearance  of  greater  quantities  of  water 
having  formerly  passed  than  at  present,  is  visible  in  many  places 
on  the  Mississippi. 

During  the  absence  of  LaSalle,  in  the  summer  of  1680,  M. 
Tonty  had  much  trouble  with  the  Indians.  The  Iroquois  waged 
a  bitter  war  with  the  prairie  Indians,  which  forced  Tonty  to  join 
his  neighbors  of  the  West.  This  war  brought  him  into  great 
peril  and  danger,  which  at  last  compelled  him  to  abandon  Fort 
Creve  Ccenr,  and  seek  safety  at  Mackinac. 

After  LaSalle  enduring   much  embarrassment  at  Frontenac, 


and  on  his  journey  out,  he  arrived  at  Creve  Cceur  late  in  Decem- 
ber, or  early  in  January,  1681.  But  to  his  great  astonishment 
and  disadvantage,  found  no  one  in  the  fort,  altho'  it  was  in 
good  repair.  This  was  another  calamity  to  swell  the  list  of 
misfortunes  which  he  suffered.  But  dejection  or  despondency 
found  no  place  in  his  remarkable  composition.  He  returned 
with  his  party  to  Mackinac,  and  greeted  Tonty  with  the  same 
feeling  and  friendship  as  if  he  had  met  his  friend  at  the  Hotel 
de  Ville  in  Paris. 

LaSalle  again  visited  Fort  Frontenac,  and  made  the  last  pre- 
parations for  his  grand  discovery.  On  the  3d  November,  1681, 
he  was  at  the  fort  of  St.  Joseph,  as  full  of  courage  as  ever. 

About  the  middle  of  December,  with  twenty-three  men,  eigh- 
teen eastern  Indians,  ten  squaws,  and  three  children,  he  started 
by  the  way  of  Chicago  River,  and  on  the  6th  January,  1682, 
they  left  the  bord.ers  of  Lake  Michigan,  traveling  on  foot,  and 
the  baggage  on  sledges.  They  passed  on  to  Fort  Creve  Cceur, 
and  found  that  place  in  good  repair.  On  the  6th  February, 
they  were  on  the  Mississippi,  and  on  the  I3th  they  set  sail  down 
that  river. 

At  the  Chickasaw  Bluffs  they  erected  a  fort,  which  they 
called  Prudhomme,  and  on  the  6th  April  they  discovered  the 
three  outlets  of  the  Mississippi  into  the  Gulf  of  Mexico. 

The  following  is  the  description  of  their  doings  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Mississippi  by  LaSalle  himself:  "We  landed  on  the  bank 
of  the  most  western  channel  about  three  leagues  from  its  mouth. 
On  the  /th  M.  de  la  Salle  went  to  reconnoitre  the  shores  of  the 
neighboring  sea,  and  M.  de  Tonty  examined  the  great  middle 
channel.  They  found  three  outlets,  beautiful,  large,  and  deep. 
On  the  8th  we  reascended  the  river  a  little  above  its  conflu- 
ence with  the  sea,  to  find  a  dry  place  beyond  the  reach  of  inun- 
dations. The  elevation  of  the  north  pole  was  about  twenty- 
seven  degrees.  Here  we  prepared  a  column,  and  a  cross,  and 
to  the  said  column  we  affixed  the  arms  of  France  with  this  in- 
scription : 

LE  NEUVIEME,  AVRIL,  1 682." 

The  whole  party  was  paraded  under  arms,  chanted  the  Tc 
Deuvi  and  other  hymns  in  praise  of  God  for  the  great  discovery. 


They  shouted  Vive  le  Roi  and  raised  Lhe  column.  LaSalle 
himself,  in  a  very  orderly  and  solemn  manner,  took  possession 
for  the  King  of  France  of  all  the  country  watered  by  the  River 
Colbert,  or  Mississippi. 

The  provisions  being  scarce,  Sieur  LaSalle  was  compelled  to 
return  north;  and  became  sick  at  Fort  Prudhomme.  He  sent 
M.  Tonty  on  to.  the  Governor  of  Canada  with  the  report  of  his 
discoveries.  He  himself  did  not  reach  the  fort  at  the  mouth  of 
St.  Joseph  River,  until  September.  At  this  place,  LaSalle  sent 
Father  Zenobe  with  his  despatches  to  the  court  of  France,  and 
he  remained  amongst  the  Indians,  trading  for  their  furs,  and 
repairing  his  favorite  fort,  St.  Louis,  supposed  to  be  on  the 
Buffalo  Rock.  But  hearing  he  had  enemies  at  the  government 
of  France,  who  represented  him  as  a  man  more  ambitious  to 
advance  his  own  interest  than  that  of  his  government,  he,  in 
the  autumn  of  1683,  set  sail  for  France  and  reached  there  on 
the  1 3th  December.  The  overbearing  deportment  of  LaSalle, 
which  was  the  greatest  defect  in  his  character,  caused  him  many 
enemies,  and  amongst  the  rest  was  M.  de  la  Barre,  who  had  suc- 
ceeded Count  Frontenac  in  the  government  of  Canada. 

The  presence  of  LaSalle  put  all  idle  rumors  against  him  to 
flight  at  the  court  of  his  king.  The  ministers  saw  him,  be- 
lieved him,  and  found  him  to  be,  what  he  really  was,  sincere, 
energetic,  brave,  and  enthusiastic.  The  king  also  believed,  and 
the  City  of  Rochelle  resounded  with  the  uproar  of  fitting  out  a 
fleet  for  the  New  World. 

On  the  24th  July,  1684,  four  vessels  sailed  from  Rochelle, 
carrying  two  hundred  and  eighty  persons  for  the  mouth  of  the 
Mississippi.  Amongst  these  persons  were  soldiers,  artificers, 
volunteers,  and  "some  young  women."  They  started  with  high 
hopes  of  honors  and  fortunes;  but  sad  reverses  overtook  them. 
Not  one  of  the  emigrants  escaped  destruction  except  six  men 
with  Joutel,  who  reached  Illinois  in  the  year  1687,  in  a  most 
deplorable  condition.  LaSalle  and  Beaujeau,  the  commander 
of  the  fleet,  did  not  agree  on  the  voyage  to  America;  but  had 
a  bitter  quarrel,  which  was  the  cause,  perhaps,  of  the  failure 
of  the  expedition.  There  is  nothing  so  dangerous  to  an  enter- 
prise as  quarrels  amongst  the  leaders; — we  see  in  ancient,  as 
well  as  in  modern  times,  disputes  prove  fatal  to  the  greatest  and 


best  expeditions.  M.  Joutel  was  the  commander  of  one  hun- 
dred soldiers,  and  was  a  man  of  judgment  and  courage.  He 
was  afterward  the  historian  of  the  expedition. 

This  fleet,  after  much  delay,  storms,  and  calms,  and  one  ves- 
sel being  captured  by  the  Spaniards,  on  the  I5th  January,  1685, 
reached  the  coast  of  America  in  latitude  29,  10  degrees  north, 
supposed  to  be  not  far  from  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi.  But 
LaSalle  caused  the  fleet  to  sail  west;  so  that  the  mouth  of  the 
river  was  not  discovered  for  years  afterward.  While  in  the  Gulf 
of  Mexico,  a  storm  visited  the  fleet  and  destroyed  one  of  the 
vessels  loaded  with  provisions,  implements,  and  other  necessary 
articles,  which  were  all  lost. 

The  marine  commander  Beaujeau  considered  he  had  per- 
formed his  duty  in  reaching  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  with  the  fleet, 
and  decided  he  would  land  LaSalle  and  his  colony  and  return 
to  France.  He  came  to  this  conclusion,  more  by  the  dissention 
between  him  and  LaSalle  than  on  any  other  consideration. 
The  colony  was  landed  at  Madagorda  Bay,  now  called  St.  Ber- 
nard, seven  or  eight  hundred  miles  by  the  indentations  of  the 
sea,  west  of  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi.  At  this  bay,  LaSalle 
made  a  "lodgement,"  as  he  called  it,  and  fortified  the  place  to 
some  extent. 

Every  hour  and  every  day  from  LaSalle's  landing  at  the 
Madagorda  Bay  until  his  assassination,  he  had  more  perils,  diffi- 
culties, and  calamities  to  encounter  and  suffer,  until  death 
seemed  to  be  his  best  friend.  He  never  ceased  hunting  for  the 
"hidden  river"  for  two  years.  He  tried  to  reach  the  Mexican 
colonies  and  failed ;  and  made  an  attempt  to  go  to  the  North, 
and  also  failed.  In  March,  1687,  he  started  to  the  Illinois  coun- 
try, in  company  with  sixteen  men,  provided  with  horses  procured 
from  the  Indians,  to  carry  their  baggage.  They  had  proceeded 
about  three  hundred  miles  to  Trinity  River  (some  say,  the 
Brazos),  where  the  party  encamped  to  recruit  themselves,  and 
to  procure  supplies  by  hunting.  Jealousies  and  rankerous  feel- 
ings took  possession  of  the  individuals  of  the  party  to  such 
extent  that  two  men  of  the  party  murdered  Moranget,  a 
nephew  of  LaSalle,  and  three  days  after  LaSalle  himself  was 
shot  dead  by  Dehaut,  one  of  his  own  men.  This  murder 
occurred  on  the  2Oth  March,  1687,  and  soon  after,  Dehaut  and 


Leotot,  two  of  the  murderers,  met  the  same  fate  by  the  hands 
of  their  comrades. 

The  French  writers  make  some  very  sensible  remarks  on  the 
character  of  LaSalle.  They  say  he  possessed  all  the  elements 
of  a  very  great  man;  one  alone  excepted,  and  that  was  to  secure 
the  affection  and  friendship  of  his  men.  It  has  been  astonish- 
ing to  me,  that  a  man  of  the  abilities  of  LaSalle  could  not  see 
this  defect  in  his  character,  and  remedy  it.  It  is  strange  that  a 
man  with  his  discernment  could  not  see  the  disaffection  of  his 
men.  Bonaparte  had  this  element  in  an  eminent  degree.  His 
soldiers  and  officers  were  always  willing  to  thrust  themselves 
into  danger  and  death  to  save  their  general. 

Joutel,  the  best  friend  of  LaSalle,  says  of  him:  "He  had  a 
capacity  and  talent  to  make  his  enterprise  successful;  his  con- 
stancy and  courage,  and  extraordinary  knowledge  in  the  arts 
and  sciences,  which  render  him  fit  for  anything,  together  with 
an  indefatigable  body,  which  made  him  surmount  all  difficulties, 
Avould  have  procured  a  glorious  issue  to  his  undertaking,  had 
not  all  thfise  excellent  qualities  been  counterbalanced  by  too 
haughty  a  behavior,  which  sometimes  made  him  insupportable; 
and  by  a  rigidness  to  those  under  his  command,  which  at  last 
drew  on  him  an  implacable  hatred,  and  was  the  occasion  of  his 

Illinois  has  been  not  unmindful  of  the  services  of  LaSalle, 
Hennepin,  Joliet,  and  Marquette.  Counties  are  named  for 
LaSalle  and  Marquette,  and  towns  for  Joliet  and  Hennepin. 

Joutel  and  six  men  after  passing  thro'  hardships,  dangers, 
and  perils  of  almost  every  description,  found  a  post  of  the 
French  on  the  Arkansas  River,  sixty  miles  from  the  Mississippi. 
The  sight  of  these  countrymen  was  the  next  thing  to  the  full 
view  of  heaven,  to  Joutel  and  party.  They  took  up  the  line  of 
march  north  in  May,  1687,  and  on  the  24th  July,  they  reached  the 
post  of  Arkansas,  and  on  the  I4th  of  September,  they  arrived  at 
the  Fort  St.  Louis,  or  Rock  Fort,  on  the  Illinois  River.  Joutel 
remained  here  until  March,  1688,  and  then  went  to  Canada. 

It  will  be  recollected  that  the  Chevalier  LaSalle  left  Tonty 
in  command  of  the  whole  Illinois  country,  which  was  beginning 
to  be  settled  by  the  clergy  and  the  Indian  traders.  Tonty 
acquitted  himself  with  honor  and  benefit  to  his  country.  He 


was  compelled  in  the  time  (which  lasted  three  years)  to  join 
the  Illinois  Indians  in  repelling  the  British  and  Iroquois,  as  a 
war  raged  then  between  France  and  Great  Brfetain,  and  it 
reached  out  into  the  remote  regions  of  the  West. 

Tonty  was  the  chief  and  captain -general  in  conducting  the 
war  against  the  British  and  the  Iroquois,  and  became,  as  he 
deserved,  a  conspicuous  character  in  the  infant  settlement  of 

In  the  year  1686,  he  heard  of  his  friend  LaSalle  being  in  the 
West  Indies,  and  descended  to  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi  in 
search  of  him;  but  returned  without  him.  On  the  route  he 
established  the  post  of  Arkansas,  which  name  it  retains  to  this 
day,  being  one  hundred  and  sixty-six  years  old.  And  I  presume 
the  settlements  of  Illinois,  Peoria,  Cahokia,  and  Kaskaskia  may 
date  their  existence  from  the  same  period,  1686  We  have  in- 
dubitable record  evidence  that  Tonty  established  the  post  of 
Arkansas  in  1686,  and  the  conclusion  is  irresistible  that  the 
settlements  of  Cahokia  and  Kaskaskia,  right  under  the  eye  of 
Tonty,  were  also  commenced  at  that  time  or  before. 

M.  Tonty  was  the  commander-in-chief  of  all  the  vast  region  of 
Illinois,  which,  at  that  day,  had  no  defined  limits,  extending 
from  Canada  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  and  east  and  west  from 
the  Mississippi  as  far  as  French  imagination  pleased  to  stretch 
it.  Tonty  was  viceroy  of  this  vast  country  almost  the  whole 
time  since  he  first  saw  it,  with  LaSalle,  in  the  year  1679,  to  the 
year  1700,  which  is  the  last  we  hear  of  him  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Mississippi  with  Iberville. 

In  the  year  1687,  he  was  commanding  the  Rock  Fort,  when 
Joutel  was  there.  Joutel  remained  at  this  fort  all  winter,  and 
it  seems  his  travels  in  Illinois  closed  up  in  the  Spring  of  1688; 
he  left  the  Rock  Fort  in  March  of  that  year  for  Quebec,  and 
then  on  to  Rochelle,  being  absent  four  years  in  America,  and 
experiencing  every  peril  and  misery  except  death  itself. 

The  Chevalier  Tonty,  the  Italian,  was  actively  employed 
for  twenty-one  years  in  erecting  forts,  defending  the  country 
from  Indian  and  British  depredations,  and  organizing  the  first 
settlement  of  Illinois.  We  must  therefore  conclude  that  Tonty 
was  a  clear-headed,  discerning  man,  of  moral  and  physical  cour- 
age, and  of  such  energy,  with  these  other  qualities,  as  made  him 
successful  in  all  his  enterprises. 


From  the  time,  1686,  Tonty  descended  the  Mississippi  to 
meet  LaSalle,  the  Illinois  country  commenced  settling.  The 
minds  of  the  people  in  Canada,  and  even  in  France,  became 
enthusiastic  in  favor  of  Illinois,  which  caused  emigration  to  it, 
and  the  religious  institutions,  and  particularly  the  Jesuits,  were 
also  much  interested  to  snatch  from  destruction  the  Indians 
that  were  unconverted.  All  over  the  West  the  French  had 
missionaries,  and  at  every  Indian  village  the  holy  father  was 
seen  employing  all  his  talents  and  energies  to  convert  the  sav- 
ages to  Christianity.  It  was  at  the  Indian  villages,  Cahokia 
and  Kaskaskia,  that  the  missionaries  first  located  themselves  to 
instruct  the  aborigines.  And  then  next  came  the  Indian  traders. 
The  traders  built  store  houses  and  forts  in  these  villages,  and 
the  missionaries  erected  houses  of  worship;  and  thereby  both 
classes  became  stationary,  and  the  excitement  to  emigrate  to 
Illinois  soon  made  farmers  and  mechanics  join  them,  and  they 
located  in  these  villages.  Many  of  the  traders,  and  others, 
married  Indian  women ;  and  other  families  came  from  Canada, 
so  that  in  a  few  years  both  Kaskaskia  and  Cahokia  became 
places  of  civilization  and  residence  of  a  white  population.  It 
was  about  the  year  1686  that  the  Reverend  Claude  Allouez,  a 
companion  of  LaSalle,  made  his  first  missionary  entry  into  the 
Indian  village  of  Kaskaskia.  He  was  the  first  white  man  that 
made  this  village  his  permanent  residence.  Some  time  after, 
the  Reverend  Gabriel  Marest  also  visited  the  place,  and  dated  a 
letter:  "Aux  Cascaskias,  autrement  dit  de  1'Immaculee  Concep- 
tion de  laSainte  Vierge,  le  9  Novembre,  1712."  About  the 
same  time,  Father  Pinet  formed  the  station  of  the  missionaries 
in  the  Tammarais  and  Cahokia  villages  of  Indians  which  was 
first  called  "Notre  Dame  de  Kahokia." 

Peoria  arose  in  the  vicinity  of  the  old  Fort  Creve  Cceur,  but 
did  not  improve  as  the  other  settlements  did  at  Kaskaskia  and 
Cahokia;  but  now,  in  its  turn,  is  far  the  largest  place,  and  bids 
fair  to  be  one  of  the  largest  cities  in  Illinois. 

The  missionaries  emigrated  to  Illinois  in  numbers,  and  did 
all  in  their  power  to  make  the  Indians  drink  of  the  waters  of 
everlasting  life;  but  the  natives  refused  even  to  this  day  to 
embrace  Christianity. 

In  our  opinion,  the  doctrines  of  Christianity  are  too  refined, 


too  subtle,  and  too  obtuse,  for  the  comprehension  of  the  illit- 
erate natives.  They  must  have  a  religion  more  suited  to  their 
capacities,  and  more  to  be  evidenced  by  their  senses.  The 
experiments  made  by  thousands  of  good  men  to  convert  the 
savages  to  Christianity  have  signally  failed ;  the  aborigines  must 
have  their  minds  cultivated  and  enlarged  before  they  can  com- 
prehend Christianity. 

Father  Marest  says  that  "our  life  is  spent  in  rambling  thro' 
thick  woods,  in  climbing  over  hills,  in  paddling  the  canoes 
across  lakes  and  rivers  to  catch  a  poor  savage  who  flies  from 
us,  and  whom  we  can  tame  neither  by  teachings  or  caresses." 

Sebastian  Rasles,  or  Raleau,  came  to  Illinois  in  1692,  and 
remained  here  two  years.  He  was  recalled  and  stationed  in 
Maine,  where  he  and  his  Indian  flock  were  murdered  by  the 
Pilgrims  of  New  England. 

The  next  pioneer  who  figured  in  early  Illinois  history,  is 
Baron  la  Hontan.  This  adventurer  sailed  up  the  River  of  St. 
Peters,  and  returned  without  adding  much  to  the  development 
of  the  country,  or  to  his  credit.  His  journal  is  considered 
doubtful  authority  in  all  cases  where  the  truth  is  required. 

Gabriel  de  la  Rebourde  and  Zenobe  Membre,  were  two  mis- 
sionaries in  Illinois  who  collected  a  troupe  of  Indians,  mostly 
females  about  St.  Louis  on  the  "Great  Rock."  This  was 
sometime  in  1690. 

In  the  year  171 1,  a  missionary  station  was  established  at  Fort 
Massacre  on  the  Ohio  River  and  a  fort  was  there  built  by  the 
French  in  1758. 

About  the  year  1700,  the  inhabitants  commenced  cultivating 
the  alluvial  soil  in  the  American  Bottom  around  the  villages  of 
Kaskaskia  and  Cahokia,  and  to  erect  buildings  fit  for  the  habi- 
tation and  comfort  of  the  white  man.  The  missionaries  built 
churches  at  those  villages,  and  attended  with  apostolic  care 
their  flocks. 

The  government  of  France  decided  to  establish  a  colony 
toward  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi;  therefore  in  the  year  1699, 
Iberville,  under  the  direction  of  France,  commenced  a  settle- 
ment at  Mobile,  and  also  at  Dauphin  Island.  He  left  France 
with  two  ships  on  the  nth  Oct.,  1698,  and  on  the  3ist  Jan., 
1699,  arrived  in  Mobile  Bay.  Iberville  was  a  man  of  sound 
judgment,  discretion,  and  prompt  action. 


These  settlements  in  the  South,  in  early  times  were  consid- 
ered intimately  connected  with  the  Illinois  country,  and  so  they 
always  will  be  esteemed.  Iberville,  after  much  search  on  the 
2d  of  March,  1699,  found  the  Hidden  River,  whose  mouth  had 
been  so  long  sought  for.  A  vessel  wae  despatched  to  France 
with  the  glad  tidings.  The  natives  called  the  river  "  Mal- 
bouche,"  and  the  Spaniards  "La  Palissade,"  from  the  trees  grow- 
ing on  its  banks. 

After  ascending  the  Mississippi  for  some  distance,  Iberville 
sailed  to  the  Bay  of  Biloxi  and  there  erected  a  fort.  Leaving 
this  place  in  the  command  of  Bienville,  he  embarked  for  France; 
and  in  his  absence  Bienville  again  returned  to  the  Mississippi, 
and  alarmed  an  British  ship  ascending  the  river,  so  that  the 
vessel  turned  down  the  river,  and  this  place  on  the  Mississippi 
is  to  this  day  called  "the  English  Turn."  General  Jackson,  on 
the  8th  of  Jan.,  1815,  gave  the  British  a  much  more  bloody 
"turn  down,"  about  the  same  section  of  the  river. 

In  the  year  1700,  Iberville  returned  from  France,  and  built 
a  fort  at  the  mouth  of  the  Great  River,  and  ordered  M.  le  Sueur 
to  proceed  up  the  Mississippi  and  the  St.  Peters,  in  search  of  a 
copper  mine,  which  order  was  fulfilled,  and  much  matter  was 
found  similar  to  copper,  but,  on  being  analyzed  in  France,  it 
turned  out  to  be  worthless.  Sueur  erected  a  fort  on  the  St. 
Peters,  in  latitude  44.  13  north,  and  called  it  L'Huiller  [1702]. 
The  Indians  being  hostile,  the  party  returned. 

In  1705,  the  same  party  ascended  the  Missouri  River  to 
the  Kansas,  but  soon  returned  without  finding  any  valuable 
mines,  but  commenced  a  profitable  commerce  with  the  Indians. 

M.  Dutisne,  another  pioneer,  was  sent  out  to  explore  the 
country  of  the  Missouris,  Osages,  and  Pawnees.  He  ascended 
the  Mississippi  to  the  Saline  River,  some  fifteen  miles  below 
Ste.  Genevieve,  and  crossed  the  country  by  land  to  the  above- 
named  Indians.  He  traveled  west  over  a  broken  and  hilly 
country  to  the  Osages  and  finally  reached  the  Pawnees  in  a 
fine  buffalo  region  in  the  prairies,  four  or  five  hundred  miles 
from  the  Mississippi. 

The  emigration  in  1708,  and  about  this  time,  commenced  to 
flow  into  Illinois  from  the  South  as  well  as  from  Canada.     The* 
country  around  Mobile,  Biloxi,  and  Dauphin  Island  being  colo- 


nized  from  France  to  some  extent,  emigrants  found  their  way 
to  Illinois  and  settled  in  the  villages  of  Cahokia  and  Kaskaskia. 
This  last-named  village  was  honored  with  the  appellation  of 
Old  Kaskaskia,  and  was,  in  truth,  the  metropolis  of  Illinois. 

The  French  government,  seeing  it  was  difficult  to  colonize 
Louisiana,  as  the  public  concerns  were  then  conducted,  granted 
a  monopoly  of  the  commerce  of  the  whole  country  to  Crozat,  a 
wealthy  merchant  of  Paris.  This  grant  is  dated  I4th  Septem- 
ber, .1712,  and  conferred  on  Crozat  the  absolute  property  of  all 
mines  he  might  discover.  He  was  associated  with  Cadillac,  the 
founder  of  Detroit  and  governor  of  Louisiana. 

Crozat  established  a  trading  company  in  Illinois.  About  this 
time,  a  considerable  commerce  was  carried  on  between  Illinois 
and  the  French  in  the  South.  We  read  of  fifteen  thousand 
deerskins,  in  one  year,  being  sent  from  Illinois  to  Dauphin 
Island.  Also  flour  and  buffalo  meat  were  sent  to  the  South. 
Illinois  in  the  year  1712  commenced  assuming  the  character  of 
a  civilized  and  permanent-settled  country.  The  villages  of 
Kaskaskia  and  Cahokia  were  fast  changing  their  Indian  charac- 
ter for  that  of  civilized  communities.  The  clergy  and  the  traders, 
who  first  located  in  the  country,  had  with  them  associated  other 
families  and  citizens  that  cultivated  the  soil  and  improved  the 

There  was  no  organized  government  in  the  country,  until  the 
Company  of  the  West  was  established.  The  small  number 
of  the  inhabitants,  and  their  destitution  of  wealth,  made  a  gov- 
ernment entirely  useless.  The  leaders  of  the  first  French  set- 
tlements of  Illinois  were  men  of  talents  and,  for  the  most  part, 
of  classic  education.  They  were  characters  of  the  first  order 
and  rank  in  any  society,  while  the  payans  voyageurs  and  cou- 
reurs  de  bois  were  innocent,  honest,  and  kind,  and  obedient  to 
the  commands  of  their  leaders.  They  gave  themselves  no 
trouble  to  think  about  or  to  discuss  public  matters.  They  were 
regardless  of  wealth  and  also  of  their  time  and  labor;  so  that  if 
they  were  provided  with  a  scanty  supply  of  clothes,  corn,  and 
deer's  tallow  or  meat,  to  eat,  they  would  sing  and  dance,  and 
were  in  fact  happy  whether  they  were  in  the  snows  of  the 
Rocky  Mountains  or  in  the  dancing  saloons  of  Quebec.  The 
community  thus  constituted  in  the  first  settlement  of  Illinois, 


needed  little,  or  no  government;  in  fact,  they  had  none  until 
the  Company  of  the  West  ["Compagnie  d' Occident"}  was  estab- 
lished in  the  country. 

The  society  in  Illinois,  before  any  government  was  organized, 
was  moral,  honest,  and  innocent;  and  perhaps  no  more  happi- 
ness in  any  other  condition  could  be  enjoyed;  but  so  soon  as 
the  inhabitants  increased,  and  wealth,  altho'  not  great,  was  accu- 
mulated, then  came  also  a  new  order  of  things,  which  did  not 
add  to  the  happiness  of  the  people. 


Illinois  under  the  French  Government. 

CROZAT  surrendered  his  charter  in  1717,  and  the  celebrated 
Company  of  the  West  was  organized  in  Paris  for  the  New 

John  Law,  a  Scotchman,  made  all  France  crazy  with  his 
banking  scheme.  I  presume,  no  nation  ever  became  so  wild 
and  inconsiderate  as  France  did  on  this  subject. 

The  Mississippi  or  Western  Company  was  established  to  aid 
and  assist  the  banking  system  of  this  crazy  Scotchman. 

In  1718,  colonies  were  sent  out  from  France,  and  in  that 
year  New  Orleans  was  laid  out.  The  directory  of  the  Western 
Company,  the  same  year,  sent  its  agents  and  officers  to  Illinois. 
Sieur  Dugue  de  Boisbriand,  the  commandant;  and  Mark  Anto- 
ine  de  la  Loire  des  Ursins,  the  principal  secretary,  with  a  small 
military  force,  reached  Illinois  with  orders  to  erect  a  fort  in  or 
near  old  Kaskaskia. 

About  sixteen  miles  above  Kaskaskia,  in  the  American  Bot- 
tom, three  miles  from  the  bluff  and  three-quarters  of  a  mile 
from  the  river,  a  fort  was  commenced  in  1718,  and  completed 
in  eighteen  months,  which  was  called  Fort  Chartres.  Fort 
Chartres,  while  the  French  retained  the  country,  jwas  the  seat 
of  government  of  Illinois,  and  it  was  also  the  headquarters  of 
the  military  forces  of  Great  Britain  until  the  year  1772,  when 
an  extraordinary  freshet  in  the  river  destroyed  one  side  of  the 
fort,  so  that  the  British  abandoned  it  and  made  Kaskaskia  the 
seat  of  government. 

The  fort  was  an  irregular  quadrangle;  the  sides  of  the  exte- 
rior polygon  are  490  feet;  the  walls  are  two  feet  two  inches 
thick,  and  built  of  limestone. 

This  fort  was  enlarged  and  improved  in  the  year  1756,  when 
war  was  declared  by  Great  Britain  against  France.  It  is  strange 
that  such  a  site  would  be  selected  for  a  fort  by  a  nation  famous 
for  two  thousand  years  past  in  all  the  science  of  the  military 



Drawn  from  a  survey  made   in  1820   by  Nicholas  Hansen  of  Illinois,  and 
Lewis  C.  Beck. 

A  A  A     The  exterior  wall — 1447  feet. 

1?     The  gate  or  entrance  to  the  fort. 

C     A  small  gate. 

D  D  The  two  houses  formerly  occupied  by  the  commandant  and  commis- 
sary, each  96  feet  in  length  and  30  in  breadth. 

E     The  well. 

E     The  magazine. 

GGGG  Houses  formerly  occupied  as  barracks,  135  feet  in  length,  36  in 

11  II     Eormerly  occupied  as  a  storehouse  and  guard-house,  90  feet  by  24. 

I     The  remains  of  small  magazine. 

K.     The  remains  of  a  furnace. 

L  L  L  A  ravine,  which  in  the  spring  is  filled  with  water.  Between  this  and 
the  river,  which  is  about  half-a-mile,  is  a  thick  growth  of  cotton-wood. 
The  area  of  the  fort  is  about  four  square  acres. 



art.  The  place  in  the  bluff  may  be  seen  to  this  day  where  the 
stone  was  quarried  to  erect  the  fort.  A  lake  intervened  be- 
tween the  quarry  and  the  fort,  so  that  the  rock  must  have  been 
boated  across  the  lake  and  then  carted  to  the  building.  The 
site  is  on  alluvial  soil  which  has  been  washed  away;  so  that 
the  wall  of  one  side  has  been  swept  off  by  the  Mississippi;  and 
then  again,  the  river  after  destroying  part  of  the  fort,  has  left 
it  out  of  sight. 

This  fort  is  situated  in  the  southwest  corner  of  Monroe 
County,  Illinois,  and  is  an  object  of  antiquarian  curiosity.  The 
trees,  undergrowth,  and  brush  are  so  mixed  and  interwoven  with 
the  old  walls,  that  the  place  has  a  much  more  ancient  appear- 
ance than  the  dates  will  justify.  The  soil  is  so  fertile  that  it 
forced  up  the  large  trees  in  the  very  houses  which  were  occu- 
pied by  the  British  soldiers. 

A  regular  government  being  established  in  the  country  gave 
a  standing  and  character  to  Illinois  that  caused  a  great  emigra- 
tion from  Canada  and  also  from  Louisiana  to  flow  into  it. 
The  government  of  the  Western  Company  was  mild  and 
equitable.  No  complaints  were  made  of  oppression  or  misrule 
against  this  company. 

A  branch  of  the  Company  of  the  West,  called  the  Com- 
pany of  St.  Phillips,  was  organized  in  Paris,  for  the  express 
purpose  of  mining;  and  Phillip  Francois  Renault,  a  native  of 
Picardy,  France,  was  appointed  the  principal  agent.  He  sailed 
from  France  in  the  year  1719,  with  two  hundred  mechanics, 
miners,  laborers,  etc.  In  the  West  Indies  he  purchased  five 
hundred  negro  slaves  to  work  the  mines,  and  reached  Illinois 
with  all  the  necessary  means  of  prosecuting  the  business  of  the 
company.  These  were  the  first  negroes  introduced  into  Illinois, 
and  were  the  ancestors  of  the  French  slaves,  who  existed  in 
the  country  for  many  years  after. 

.Renault  was  a  man  of  sound  mind,  and  much  energy.  He 
obtained  a  large  grant  of  land  to  enable  him  to  prosecute  his 
mining  operations.  This  grant  was  located  a  few  miles  above 
Fort  Chartres,  and  on  it  was  built  the  village  of  St.  Phillips;  so 
called  in  honor  of  the  founder.  A  chapel  and  a  water-mill  were 
built  in  this  place  for  the  accommodation  of  the  inhabitants. 
A  part  of  the  grant  to  Renault  extended  over  the  hills  adjacent 


to  the  bottom,  the  title  of  which  is  not,  to  this  day  settled. 
Farmers  and  mechanics  were  encouraged  to  settle  on  this  grant 
in  the  bottom;  so  that  the  necessary  supplies  for  the  mining 
operations  might  be  obtained  from  it. 

Other  grants  were  made  to  him,  one  including  the  mines  in 
upper  Louisiana,  and  another  near  Old  Peoria,  to  embrace  a 
copper  mine,  which  was  supposed  at  that  day  to  exist  there- 
Renault  and  his  company  of  mechanics,  laborers,  etc.,  were 
the  greatest  acquisition  Illinois  had  heretofore  received.  These 
people  for  the  most  part  were  more  intelligent  and  efficient 
than  the  first  inhabitants  of  the  country;  and  the  whole  West 
was  much  advanced  by  them. 

Exploring  companies  were  sent  out  on  both  sides  of  the 
river.  In  Jackson,  Randolph,  and  St.  Clair  Counties,  in  Illinois, 
the  ancient  traces  of  furnaces,  etc.,  may  yet  be  seen.  Silver 
Creek  was  so  called  because  they  supposed  silver  ore  was  found 
near  it. 

Renault  turned  his  attention  finally  to  the  smelting  of  lead. 
Pack-horses  conveyed  it  to  the  river  and  then  in  perogues  it 
was  transported  to  New  Orleans. 

In  May,  1719,  the  Company  of  the  West  was  united  by 
the  king  to  the  Company  of  the  Indies  under  the  name  of  the 
Royal  Company  of  the  Indies.  This  retarded  the  operations 
of  Renault  and  he  finally  left  the  country  in  the  year  1744  and 
returned  to  France,  where  he  remained. 

The  Company  of  the  West  being  vested  in  fee  simple  with 
the  right  of  the  public  domain,  made  grants  of  land  to  private 
individuals  and  to  the  villages.  The  French  system  to  dispose 
of  the  public  land  was  not  very  dissimilar  to  that  of  the  United 
States,  only  in  this:  one  government  granted  the  land  without 
a  price  and  the  other  sold  it  for  a  valuable  consideration. 

The  French  system  required  the  grants  to  be  adjacent  to 
each  other  and  numbered  so  that  no  intervening  tracts  could 
exist.  The  grants  were  generally  made  by  so  many  arpents  in 
front  and  extending  at  right  angles  to  the  requisite  quantity. 
The  lines  were,  not  like  the  lands  of  the  United  States,  run  on 
the  cardinal  points,  but  were  run  the  same  course  and  frequently 
the  same  length.  Generally,  the  French  grants  in  Illinois  com- 
menced at  the  river,  and  extended  to  the  bluff,  or  from  river 


to  river,  as  they  are  at  Kaskaskia.  A  French  acre,  or  arpent,  is 
eleven  rods  and  sixty-seven  hundredths  of  a  rod,  English  meas- 
ure being  the  square  of  the  arpent.  This  system  contemplated 
either  large  enclosures,  embracing  the  lands  of  many  farmers, 
or  the  fields  cultivated  without  fencing.  It  would  be  too  ex- 
pensive for  a  farmer  having  a  grant  of  one  arpent,  in  front 
H67/IOO  rods,  and  running,  perhaps,  many  miles  the  other  way, 
as  they  do  in  the  Cahokia  common  field,  to  fence  his  farm  to 
himself.  And  in  consequence  of  this  system,  the  French  of  the 
villages  had,  in  olden  times,  their  whole  common  field  enclosed 
together.  The  fence  generally  extended  near  the  villages  from 
either  the  Mississippi  to  the  bluff,  or  from  the  Mississippi  to  the 
Kaskaskia  River;  as  it  was  at  Kaskaskia.  The  common  field 
was  on  one  side  of  this  fence,  and  the  stock:  cattle,  horses, 
hogs,  etc.,  were  formed  to  range  on  the  other  side.  This  was 
the  ancient  manner  of  enclosing  the  common  fields  of  Kaskas- 
kia and  Cahokia  for  nearly  one  hundred  years;  and  the  same 
system  was  adopted  by  all  the  other  villages  of  Illinois.  A 
large  gate  was  erected  in  the  fence,  near  the  village,  and  a 
keeper  was  stationed  at  it,  to  permit  the  farmers  and  others  to 
enter  the  field  and  return  at  pleasure. 

In  the  fall,  when  the  corn  and  other  crops  were  gathered,  the 
gate  was  thrown  open,  and  the  stock  took  possession  of  the 
field  during  the  winter. 

Grants  of  land  were  made  for  almost  all,  or  entirely  so,  of  the 
American  Bottom,  from  the  upper  limits  of  the  common  field 
of  St.  Phillips  to  the  lower  line  of  the  Kaskaskia  common  field, 
a  distance  of  nearly  thirty  miles;  and  the  traces  of  cultivation 
could  be  discerned  in  the  greater  portion  of  this  tract  of  country 
down  to  the  year  iSoo,  and  after. 

Wind,  water,  and  horse-mills  were  built  in  this  region  of 
country  to  manufacture  flour  for  the  use  of  the  inhabitants  and 
for  exportation  to  Mobile  and  New  Orleans.  The  Jesuit  mis- 
sionaries were  mostly  instrumental  in  procuring  the  erection  of 
mills.  The  remains  of  water-mills  may  be  seen  to  this  day  at 
various  places  in  the  bluffs  of  the  Mississippi  opposite  to  this 
cultivated  tract  of  country;  and  the  traces  of  a  wind-mill  was 
visible  not  many  years  ago  in  the  prairie  between  Prairie  du 
Rocher  and  Kaskaskia. 


The  first  grant  of  land,  which  is  preserved,  was  made  to 
Charles  Danie  on  the  loth  May,  1722,  and  the  next  to  the  mis- 
sionaries of  the  Cahokia  and  Tammarais  tribes  of  Indians,  dated 
22d  June,  of  the  same  year. 

Soon  after  the  completion  of  Fort  Chartres  in  the  year  1720, 
a  village  near  the  fort  was  commenced  and  became  the  habita- 
tion of  many  families.  The  site  of  this  village  was  swept  off  by 
the  Mississippi ;  so  that  not  much  or  any  vestage  of  it  remains 
at  this  day.  This  village  had  its  common  field,  commons  for 
wood  and  pasture,  its  church  and  grave-yard,  like  the  other  set- 
tlements of  Illinois.  The  common  field  and  commons  remain, 
but  scarcely  any  other  traces  of  the  village  exist. 

About  the  year  1722,  the  village,  called  appropriately  by  its 
location,  (Prairie  du  Rocher)  Rock  Prairie,  may  date  its  com- 
mencement. It  is  situated  at  the  base  of  the  perpendicular 
rocks  of  the  Mississippi  Bluff,  about  four  miles  below  Fort 
Chartres.  It  had  its  church,  common  field,  and  commons; 
together  with  its  priest,  catechism,  and  mass.  As  it  was  sit- 
uated so  near  the  rocks,  many  of  the  houses  were  made  of  that 
material.  In  the  outlet  of  a  creek  thro'  the  bluff  near  this- 
village  are  the  vestages  of  a  water-mill,  said  to  have  been 
erected  by  the  Jesuits  in  the  palmy  days  of  the  French  settle- 
ments in  Illinois.  This  village,  like  many  others  in  Illinois,  is 
now,  like  the  poet  said  of  Troy,  Illium  fuit. 

In  olden  times,  Kaskaskia  was  to  Illinois  what  Paris  is  at 
this  day  to  France.  Both  were  at  their  respective  days  the 
great  emporiums  of  fashion,  gaiety,  and  I  must  say  happiness, 
also.  In  the  year  1721,  the  Jesuits  erected  a  monastery  and 
college  in  Kaskaskia,  and  a  few  years  afterward  it  was  char- 
tered by  the  government.  Kaskaskia  for  many  years  was  the 
largest  town  west  of  the  Alleghany  Mountains.  It  was  a  toler- 
able place  before  the  existence  of  Pittsburgh,  Cincinnati,  or 
New  Orleans.  In  this  year,  Charlevoix  visited  the  country,  and 
he  states  that  "the  inhabitants  of  Kaskaskia  have  black  cattle 
and  poultry,  and  are  doing  well."  The  Jesuits  had  erected 
water  and  wind-mills  near  this  vi''age.  The  streams  thro'  the 
bluff  exhibit  the  traces  of  water-mills  to  this  day,  and  the  pres- 
ent flouring-mill  of  Mr.  Riley  occupies  the  same  site  of  a  mill 
of  one  hundred  years  anterior  date. 


Charveloix,  in  a  letter  dated,  Kaskaskia,  2Oth  Oct.,  1721,  in 
relation  to  Cahokia,  says:  "We  lay  last  night  in  a  village  of  the 
Cahokias  and    the   Tamaroas,  two    Illinois   tribes,  which  have 
been  united,  and  together  compose  no  very  numerous  canton. 
I  passed  the  night  in  a  missionary's  house,  with  two  ecclesias- 
tics from  the  Seminary  of  Quebec.     M.  Taumur,  the  elder,  was 
absent;  but  I  found  the  younger,  M.  le  Mercier,  such  as  he  had 
been  represented  to  me,  rigid  to  himself,  full  of  charity  to  others, 
and  displayed  in  his  own  person  an  amiable  pattern  of  virtue." 
The  common   fields  of  Cahokia  and    Prairie  du   Pont   were 
extensive.     I   presume  the  arpent   land  attached   to  these  vil- 
lages are  fifteen  miles  long,  and  in  places  extending  from  Caho- 
kia Creek  to  the  bluffs.     They  are  five  or  six  miles  wide.     The 
greater  portion  of  these  lands  was  cultivated,  and  enclosed  in 
two  large  fields.     A  chapel  of  some  character  always  existed  in 
Cahokia  since  its  foundation.      In  Prairie  du  Pont  there  was 
none.     Each  village  had  granted  to  it  a  large  common.     Prairie 
du  Pont,  in   English   Bridge   Prairie,  is   situated  on  the  south 
side  of  the  creek  of  that  name,  and  one  mile  south  of  Cahokia. 
Its  first  commencement  was  about  the  year  1760.      In  olden 
times,  a  water-mill  was  erected  on  the  creek  near  the  village. 

Cahokia  never  was  as  large  as  Kaskaskia,  and  Peoria  wa*s  not 
so  large  as  Cahokia  in  early  times.  Cahokia  was  a  greater 
trading-post  than  Kaskaskia  for  the  northern  Indians;  while 
Kaskaskia  was  more  agricultural,  and  extended  its  commerce 
to  New  Orleans  and  Mobile  instead  of  the  Indians  in  the  North. 
In  the  early  settlement  of  the  country,  the  horned  cattle 
came  from  Canada,  and  the  horses  reached  the  country  from 
the  South  and  the  West.  The  cattle  were  a  hardy  race,  not 
large  but  of  neat  formation.  The  horses  were  of  the  Arabian 
strain.  The  Spaniards  introduced  them  into  their  American 
possessions,  and  from  this  race  originated  the  French  horses. 
This  blood  of  horses  was  brought  into  Spain  from  Arabia  by 
the  Moors.  These  French  horses  were  small,  but  performed 
better  to  their  eize  than  any  others. 

Spain,  knowing  of  the  improvements  and  settlements  of  the 
French  on  the  east  side  of  the  Mississippi,  became  jealous  and 
were  determined  to  occupy  the  west  side  of  the  river  them- 
selves. Some  authors  say  Fort  Chartres  was  erected  to  guard 


against  the  assaults  of  the  Spaniards.  At  all  events,  a  consider- 
able colony  of  Spaniards  started  from  Santa  Fe  in  1720,  and 
marched  for  the  Pawnee  villages  on  the  Missouri  River.  The 
Missouri  Indians  resided  on  the  same  river,  above  the  mouth 
of  the  Kansas.  These  nations  of  Indians  were  at  war  with 
each  other,  and  the  Missouris  were  in  alliance  with  the  French. 
The  Spaniards  made  a  mistake.  They  halted  with  the  Mis- 
souris, thinking  they  were  Pawnees.  They  divulged  to  the 
Missouri  nation  their  object,  which  was  to  destroy  the  Missouris, 
and  asked  the  Pawnees  to  assist  them.  The  Missouris  con- 
cealed the  mistake  of  the  Spaniards,  but  in  forty-eight  hours 
two  thousand  of  the  Missouri  tribe  appeared  under  arms. 
They  attacked  the  Spaniards  at  night,  and  all  were  killed 
except  the  priest,  who  escaped  on  horseback. 

This  bold  attempt  of  the  Spaniards,  crossing  a  wilderness  of 
eight  or  nine  hundred  miles,  alarmed  the  French;  and  Sieur  de 
Bourgmont  was  dispatched  with  a  considerable  military  force  to 
take  possession  of  an  island  in  the  Missouri  River  above  the 
mouth  of  the  Osage,  and  on  it  he  erected  a  fort,  which  was 
called  Fort  Orleans.  Bourgmont  set  out  from  the  fort  on  the 
3d  July,  1724,  to  take  an  extensive  tour  amongst  the  north-west 
Indians,  and  returned  on  the  5th  Nov.  of  the  same  year.  His 
object  in  this  expedition  was  to  pacify  the  Indians,  and  secure 
their  trade. 

Soon  after  this  period  the  Indians  destroyed  Fort  Orleans, 
and  massacred  every  soul  in  it.  A  bitter  war  with  these  Indians 
continued  for  sixteen  years.  Three  forts  and  settlements  of  the 
French  in  the  West  were  almost  entirely  destroyed  by  the 
Indians.  The  fort  at  Matagorda  Bay  in  1690,  or  thereabouts, 
was  annihilated,  as  the  inhabitants  were  never  after  heard  of. 

The  fort  at  Natches,  on  the  28th  Nov.,  1729,  was  attacked 
and  all  killed  by  the  Indians,  except  a  few  women  and  children; 
and  the  inhabitants  of  Fort  Orleans,  on  an  island  in  the  Mis- 
souri River,  were  entirely  annihilated,  as  above  stated. 

It  is  surprising  to  any  one  at  this  day  to  read  the  perils,  dan- 
gers, and  deaths  which  the  pioneers  of  America  suffered  in  the 
colonizing  of  the  country.  Examine  the  history  of  the  early 
settlements  of  Virginia  and  Massachusetts,  as  well  as  of  Illi- 
nois, and  it  is  almost  beyond  belief — the  calamities  and  loss  of 
life  which  the  first  emigrants  to  the  country  suffered. 


These  disasters  and  sufferings  were  not  visited  on  the  pio- 
neers of  Oregon  or  California. 

Although  the  distance  by  land  to  California  and  Oregon 
from  the  States  may  not  be  as  great  as  from  Europe  to  America, 
but  the  overland  travel  to  the  Pacific  is  more  difficult  than  to 
cross  the  Atlantic,  and  the  voyage  by  sea  to  Oregon  and  Cali- 
fornia is  much  greater.  Yet,  under  these  circumstances,  the 
first  settlements  on  the  Pacific  were  a  pleasure  in  comparison 
to  the  difficulties  in  colonizing  the  Atlantic  coast  or  the  West. 

About  this  time,  1722,  the  valley  of  the  Ohio  River  was 
explored  by  the  French.  The  bitter  hostility  of  the  Iroquois 
or  Five  Nations  to  the  French,  prevented,  hitherto,  the  explorers 
of  the  Mississippi  from  visiting  the  Ohio  Valley.  The  Five 
Nations  having,  in  the  year  1713,  an  accession  from  the  Tusca- 
rowas  from  North  Carolina,  was  called  the  Six  Nations,  and 
became  hostile  to  the  British.  Thus  it  was  that  the  French 
were  permitted  to  explore  the  river  of  the  Iroquois,  as  the  Ohio 
was  then  called.  And  soon  after,  it  was  garrisoned  by  the 
French  troops. 

The  date  of  the  first  settlement  of  Vincennes,  on  the  Wabash, 
is  not  precisely  known.  Its  settlement  might  be  dated  at  1722, 
about  the  time  Illinois,  of  which  Vincennes  was  then  consid- 
ered a  part,  commenced  its  permanent  and  substantial  improve- 
ment. The  French  established  a  fort  at  Massacre,  on  the  Ohio 
River,  as  it  has  been  stated. 

The  reason  of  this  fort  acquiring  its  name  is  a  little  singular. 
The  Indians  on  the  southeast  side  of  the  Ohio,  the  opposite 
side  from  the  fort,  covered  themselves  with  bear-skins,  and 
imitated  the  bear  in  their  movements  on  the  sandy  beach  of 
the  river.  The  French  soldiers  in  the  garrison  supposed  them 
"true  and  genuine"  bears,  and  crossed  the  river  to  have  a  bear 
hunt;  but  sorely  did  they  suffer  for  it.  The  Indians  threw  off 
the  bear-skins,  and  massacred  the  soldiers.  Hence  the  name 
of  Fort  Massacre,  pronounced  in  English  Massac.  A  county 
is  called  Massac  including  the  fort  and  missionary  station. 

The  Illinois  settlements  continued  to  flourish,  and  no  people 
were  more  happy.  It  is  said  that  in  the  Illinois  country  in 
1730,  there  were  about  one  hundred  and  forty  French  families, 
besides  about  six  hundred  converted  Indians,  and  many  traders, 


voyagers,  and  courenrs  de  dots.  The  Jesuit  college  at  Kaskas- 
kia,  continued  to  flourish  until  the  war  with  Great  Britain,  in 
1754,  was  declared. 

It  is  stated  that  the  upper  Wabash  was  considerably  settled, 
and  that  a  lucrative  commerce  was  carried  on  between  the 
French  colonies  of  the  upper  and  lower  Mississippi. 

In  the  year  1732,  the  Company  of  the  West  (part  of  the 
Royal  Company  of  Indies)  requested  to  return  their  charter  to 
the  king,  which  was  accepted;  and  thereupon  the  Illinois  coun- 
try became  a  part  of  the  royal  government  of  Quebec. 

Altho'  the  company  did  not  do  much  for  themselves,  they 
introduced  into  Illinois  and  protected  the  culture  of  wheat  and 
other  crops.  The  mines  of  lead  in  Missouri  were  opened  and 
worked,  and  the  cultivation  of  rice,  indigo,  sugar,  tobacco,  and 
silk  was  commenced  in  lower  Louisiana. 

At  the  dissolution  of  the  company,  in  1732,  Loubois  was 
appointed  royal  governor  of  Louisiana,  and  Artaguiette,  for 
Illinois.  Both  these  officers  had  distinguished  themselves  in 
the  southern  wars  with  the  Indians,  and  were  well  qualified  to 
take  command  of  their  respective  provinces. 

From  this  date,  1732,  and  during  the  time  the  country  was 
under  the  administration  of  the  French  government  to  the  year 
1754,  when  war  was  declared  by  Great  Britain,  the  Illinois 
French  experienced  their  most  palmy  days.  In  these  twenty- 
two  years,  the  whole  county  exhibited  a  scene  of  flourishing 
»  prosperity.  With  a  very  few  exceptions,  the  Indian  tribes,  far 
and  near,  were  on  peaceable  terms  with  the  French  and  gave 
their  trade  to  them.. 

A  considerable  trade  was  carried  on  between  Illinois  and  the 
lower  Mississippi  and  Mobile.  In  return,  all  the  necessaries  not 
produced  in  the  country,  and  much  of  the  luxuries  of  life  were 
received  and  used  by  the  inhabitants.  This  country  was  remote 
from  the  old  world,  and  thereby  never  experienced  any  of  the 
evils  or  corrupt  influences  of  a  dense  and  profligate  population. 
The  vices  and  crimes,  arising  out  of  a  wealthy  and  vicious  com- 
munity, were  unknown  in  the  early  history  of  Illinois. 

These  settlements  in  Illinois  being  so  weak  and  so  far 
removed  from  any  civilized  communities,  and  amidst  savage 
nations  of  Indians,  that  the  inhabitants  were  forced  to  rely  on 


each  other  for  self-preservation.  This  made  them  kind  and 
friendly  to  each  other. 

These  virtues  were  cherished  and  cultivated  for  ages,  and 
transmitted  thro'  many  generations;  so  that  kindness  and 
generosity  became  a  fixed  character  with  the  Creole  French. 

They  were  ambitious  for  neither  knowledge  or  wealth,  and 
therefore,  possessed  not  much  of  either.  That  sleepless,  fero- 
cious ambition  to  acquire  wealth  and  power,  which  seizes  on  so 
many  people  at  this  day,  never  was  known  amongst  the  early 
settlers  of  Illinois.  The  French  of  these  twenty-two  years  had 
exactly,  almost  to  a  mathematical  certainty,  a  competency  of 
worldly  gear.  There  is  a  happy  medium  between  the  ex- 
tremes of  poverty  and  wealth,  if  mankind  could  settle  on  it, 
that  would  render  them  the  most  happy.  These  people  had, 
at  that  day,  in  my  opinion,  found  the  philosopher's  stone  of 
wealth  and  happiness.  They  lived  in  that  fortunate  medium, 
which  forced  itself  on  them  rather  than  they  on  it. 

The  people,  with  scarce  an  exception,  at  that  day  had 
neither  the  means  or  disposition  to  suffer  the  pains  and  penal- 
ties of  drunkenness.  The  French,  to  a  proverb,  are  a  tem- 
perate people,  as  to  drink;  and,  moreover,  at  the  above  date, 
there  was  not  much  in  the  country.  The  people  were  then 
enjoying  that  high  and  dignified  standing  of  teetotal  temperance 
which  conduced  not  a  little  to  their  happiness. 

The  inhabitants  were  devout  and  strong  believers  in  the 
Roman  Catholic  Church.  They  were  willing  to  fight  and  die 
for  the  maintenance  of  the  doctrines  of  their  church.  They 
considered  the  Church  of  Rome  infallible,  eminating  direct  from 
God,  and  therefore  all  the  dogmas  were  received  and  acted  on 
by  them  without  a  why  or  wherefore.  They  performed  their 
devotions  in  this  church  with  a  confidence  that  rendered  them 
happy  in  religious  matters. 

Their  spiritual  teachers  were  of  sincere  piety  and  religion.  It 
was  the  duty  and  it  became  also  the  pleasure  of  these  Christian 
men  to  administer  to  the  religious  wants  of  the  people. 

The  people  being  governed  by  the  precepts  of  the  Gospel, 
enforced  by  the  power  and  influence  of  the  church,  formed  a 
pious  and  religious  community,  which  was  the  basis  of  the  hap- 
piness of  the  Illinois  people  in  the  primitive  times. 


This  was  the  golden  age  of  Illinois,  and  at  no  subsequent 
period  will  the  people  enjoy  the  same  happiness.  Wealth  and 
greatness  do  not  necessarily  make  a  community  happy.  Chris- 
tian virtues  must  govern  the  heart  before  a  people  can  be  pros- 
perous or  happy. 

The  British  government  became  vexed  and  jealous  at  the 
occupation  and  settlement  by  the  French  of  the  Mississippi 
Valley.  They  not  only  by  intrigue  soured  the  minds  of  the 
Iroquois  and  Southern  Indians  against  the  French,  but  were 
evil  enough  to  encourage  the  slaves  to  mutiny  and  to  leave 
their  masters.  About  the  year  1734,  the  commerce  by  the 
Mississippi  was  almost  entirely  cut  off  by  the  hostility  of  the 
Chickasaws  and  other  Indians,  caused  by  British  intrigue. 
There  was  a  great  wilderness  on  the  river  between  Illinois  and 
lower  Louisiana,  and  the  hostile  Indians  occupied  it  to  the 
great  danger  of  commerce  on  that  section  of  the  river.  It 
therefore  became  the  imperious  duty  of  the  government  to 
restore  safe  intercourse  between  these  two  settlements. 

In  order  to  accomplish  this  desirable  object,  the  Chickasaws 
were  to  be  humbled  or  destroyed.  The  governor,  Bienville,  of 
Louisiana,  with  the  approbation  of  the  French  king,  decided 
on  a  campaign  against  the  enemies  of  France — the  Chicka- 
saws. All  the  disposable  military  force  of  the  Mississippi  Valley 
was  brought  into  requisition,  and  organized  into  an  army  under 
Bienville.  Artaguiette,  the  governor  of  Illinois  and  com- 
manding at  Fort  Chartres,  was  ordered  to  join  the  campaign 
with  all  the  military  force  he  could  muster  in  Illinois  and 
Wabash  countries,  and  to  meet  Bienville  and  the  Southern 
army  on  the  loth  of  May,  1736,  on  the  sources  of  the  Tombig- 
bee  and  the  Yazoo  Rivers.  The  Illinois  troops,  whites  and 
Indians,  were  to  descend  the  Mississippi  to  the  lower  Chicka- 
saw  Bluffs,  and  then  march  in  a  northeast  direction  to  the 
sources  of  the  Tallahatchie  River.  Bienville  was  to  ascend  the 
Tombigbee  to  the  forks,  and  then  march  to  the  northwest  to 
meet  the  Illinois  army. 

Bienville  started  from  New  Orleans  to  Mobile  with  thirty 
barges  and  thirty  perogues,  and  ascended  the  Tombigbee. 
The  river  was  so  low  that  he  and  Artaguiette  never  met. 
Bienville  had  a  battle  with  the  Chickasaw  enemy,  and  was 


unsuccessful.  He  left  the  Indian  country  for  New  Orleans  on 
the  29th  of  May,  1736,  abandoning  the  Illinois  troops  to  their 

In  this  bloody  battle,  which  was  fought  by  Bienville,  near 
Pontotoc  Creek  in  the  county  of  the  same  name,  State  of  Mis- 
sissippi, thirty-two  men  were  killed  and  sixty-one  wounded. 
The  slain  were  left  on  the  field,  but  the  army  was  withdrawn  in 
tolerable  order. 

Artaguiette,  whose  fame  extended  from  Louisiana  to  Que- 
bec, exerted  his  influence,  and  many  of  the  Indian  warriors 
from  the  Mississippi  to  Detroit  joined  his  standard.  The  brave 
and  gallant  young  hero,  Chevalier  Vincennes  who  was  the  hope 
and  pride  of  the  Wabash  country,  joined,  with  his  forces,  the 
troops  under  Artaguiette.  This  army  consisted  of  one  thou- 
sand Indian  warriors,  all  the  regulars  that  were  in  the  country, 
and  whatever  militia  force  that  could  be  collected.  They  left 
Fort  Chartres  and  landed  at  the  lower  Chickasaw  Bluffs  accord- 
ing to  instructions.  They  marched  in  a  northeast  direction, 
toward  the  sources  of  the  Tallahatchie,  and.  were  on  the  spot 
at  the  time — loth  of  May,  1736 — appointed  by  Bienville,  but 
found  no  Southern  army,  as  was  promised.  The  Illinois  troops, 
from  the  Qth  of  May  until  the  2Oth,  camped  in  sight  of  the 
enemy,  waiting  for  Bienville  and  his  army. 

The  Indian  allies  became  restless,  and  forced  Artaguiette 
to  lead  them  to  battle.  The  plan  of  the  battle  was  devised 
with  judgment  and  vigorously  executed;  but  they  were  too 
weak  to  contend  against  such  fearful  odds.  On  the  2Oth  of 
May,  the  fearless  and  gallant  leaders  of  the  Illinois  division  of 
the  army  marched  their  forces  against  the  enemy.  The  Chick- 
asaw towns  were  fortified  under  the  direction  of  the  British  and 
the  flag  of  that  nation  waved  over  the  Indian  and  British  ene- 
mies of  France. 

The  Illinois  forces  drove  the  Chickasaws  out  of  two  of  their 
fortified  towns,  and  were  almost  certain  of  success  at  the  third 
and  last  fortified  village,  when  Artaguiette  received  two 
wounds,  which  laid  him  helpless  on  the  battle-field  at  the  very 
moment  that  victory  was  about  to  crown  his  noble  efforts.  But 
such  are  the  vicissitudes  of  a  battle-field. 

When  the  soldiers,  who  fought  like  tigers  under  Artaguiette, 


while  he  was  able  to  command,  discovered  him  down  and  almost 
lifeless,  they  retreated  under  the  command  of  M.  Voisin,  a  youth 
of  only  sixteen  years — with  the  Indian  enemy  at  their  heels  for 
sixty-five  miles.  This  noble  youth,  who,  in  the  wilds  of  America, 
amidst  a  victorious  and  savage  enemy,  in  such  a  masterly  man- 
ner, withdrew  the  remnant  of  the  Illinois  army,  imitated  the 
most  heroic  deeds  of  his  chivalric  nation. 

The  Chevalier  Vincennes,  with  that  nobleness  of  character 
which  few  possess,  remained  with  his  beloved  commander,  altho' 
he  might  have  escaped,  and  was  captured  by  the  enemy.  The 
Jesuit  monk,  Senat,  also  despised  life  by  running  to  save  it, 
and  staid  with  the  noble-hearted  and  generous  Artaguiette. 

At  first  the  Chickasaws  treated  their  prisoners  with  kindness 
and  attention.  They  supposed  that  they  would  be  ransomed 
at  a  great  price,  or  that  they  might  be  made  useful,  if  the  for- 
tune of  war  should  turn  against  them.  But  when  the  enemy 
learned  the  defeat  and  retreat  of  Bienville  and  his  army,  they 
changed  their  treatment  of  the  prisoners  to  the  utmost  bar- 
barity and  brutality;  and  at  last  burned  them  at  the  stake  with 
slow  and  lingering  tortures.  Only  one  man  escaped  to  tell  the 
sad  story  of  the  fate  of  his  countrymen. 

The  French  were  compelled  to  observe  in  America,  a  most 
rigid  discipline  and  subordination  with  their  troops.  The  sol- 
diers at  Cat  Island  rebelled  and  killed  the  commander.  They 
attempted  to  escape  to  Carolina,  but  failed.  The  Choctaws 
brought  them  all  back  except  one,  who  destroyed  himself, 
rather  than  suffer  a  military  execution.  Two  of  the  ringleaders 
were  broken  on  the  wheel,  and  one — a  Swiss — after  the  manner 
of  his  country,  was  nailed  in  a  wooden  coffin  and  sawed  in  two, 
by  two  sergeants,  with  a  whip-saw. 

These  brave  French  officers,  Artaguiette  and  Vincennes, 
together  with  the  noble-hearted  ecclesiastic,  Senat,  perished  in 
the  service  of  their  country  in  the  vigor  of  life  and  usefulness 
in  the  present  County  of  Pontotoc,  State  of  Mississippi.  The 
lamented  Vincennes  has  his  name  perpetuated  by  the  ancient 
and  respectable  town  of  Vincennes  on  the  Wabash  River  in 
Indiana.  Vincennes  bids  fair  to  be  as  honorable  on  the  list  of 
cities,  as  its  namesake  was  noble,  courageous,  and  generous  in 
the  military  service  of  his  country. 


Bienville  discovered  that  his  military  fame  was  clouded,  and 
made,  during  the  following  year,  another  attempt  to  chastise 
the  Chickasaws. 

In  the  year  1739,  Bienville  erected  a  fort,  called  St.  Francis, 
at  the  river  of  the  same  name;  and  reached  there  with  all  the 
Louisiana  militia,  regulars,  and  a  few  companies  of  marines, 
with  sixteen  hundred  Indians. 

La  Buissoniere  was  appointed  governor  of  Illinois  and  com- 
manded at  Fort  Chartres  after  the  death  of  Artaguiette.  He 
Avas  ordered  to  meet  the  Southern  army  at  Fort  St.  Francis.  The 
governor,  with  his  lieutenants,  M.  Celeron  and  M.  St.  Laurent, 
assembled  their  forces,  which  Avere  two  companies  of  white  men, 
and  some  cadets  from  Canada,  Avith  three  hundred  Indians,  and 
descended  the  river  to  Fort  St.  Francis. 

The  army  crossed  over  to  the  mouth  of  Margot  Creek,  and 
a  fort,  called  Assumption,  was  built  there.  This  fort  was  com- 
pleted about  the  middle  of  August,  1740,  when  the  fever  raged 
amongst  the  troops.  Only  two  hundred  men  were  able,  with 
the  negroes  and  Indians,  to  march  against  the  enemy.  This 
division  of  the  army  was  commanded  by  M.  Celeron,  who  made 
a  patched  up  treaty  Avith  the  enemy,  which  Bienville  ratified, 
much  to  his  discredit. 

Thus  ended  these  tAvo  campaigns  against  the  Chickasaws, 
without  doing  much  good  to  the  country  and  at  the  loss  of 
many  valuable  lives. 

Bienville  was  superceded  by  the  Marquis  de  Vaudreuil,  gov- 
ernor and  commanding  general  of  Louisiana. 

During  these  campaigns,  the  whole  of  the  French  colonies 
increased  their  numbers  and  their  wealth.  The  Illinois  and 
Wabash  countries  were  much  improved  and  enlarged.  The 
commerce  now  had  a  free  passage  between  the  upper  and  lower 
Mississippi,  and  the  Avhole  valley  Avas  in  a  most  thriving  and 
prosperous  condition. 

For  ten  years  after  the  close  of  the  ChickasaAV  war,  the  val- 
ley of  the  Mississippi  enjoyed  a  prosperous  and  happy  peace. 

The  Indians,  throughout  the  whole  length  and  breadth  of 
the  valley,  Avere  at  peace  with  the  French,  and  rendered  them 
their  Avhole  traffic.  Not  an  Englishman  from  the  Atlantic  col- 
onies, or  otherwise,  even  to  this  date,  1740,  put  his  foot  on  the 


shores  of  the  Mississippi,  except  the  vessel  whose  turn  has 
given  the  name  of  the  English  Turn  to  a  section  of  the  River 
below  New  Orleans.  The  French  had  a  quiet  and  peaceable 
possession  of  the  valley,  and  occupied  it  by  forts  and  settle- 
ments from  Canada  to  New  Orleans. 

The  country  enjoying  these  blessings,  induced  many  persons 
of  capital  and  enterprise  to  come  and  settle  in  it. 

In  the  fall  of  1745,  a  destructive  storm  visited  lower  Louisi- 
ana, and  destroyed  almost  all  the  crops.  But  the  Illinois  and 
Wabash  settlements  relieved  them.  Boats  descended  in  the 
fall,  and  returned  early  in  the  spring.  It  is  stated  that  four 
thousand  sacks  of  flour  were  sent  this  fall  to  the  lower  Missis- 
sippi from  Illinois  alone.  These  sacks  weighed  100  pounds 
each  and  were  made  of  deer-skins. 

In  the  year  1751,  La  Buissoniere,  who  had  administered  the 
government  in  the  Illinois  country  for  several  years,  and  had 
the  command  of  Fort  Chartres,  was  succeeded  in  the  command 
by  the  Chevalier  Makarty.  On  the  2Oth  August,  1751,  Makarty 
left  New  Orleans  with  a  small  military  force,  to  take  command 
in  Illinois.  Makarty  remained  in  Illinois  in  command  of  Fort 
Chartres  and  the  country  until  a  short  time  before  the  British 
took  possession  of  the  country,  by  virtue  of  the  treaty  of  Feb. 
10,  1763.  At  that  time  M.  St.  Ange  de  Belle  Rive  commanded. 

The  British,  waxing  warmer  and  more  hostile  to  the  French 
occupying  the  valley  of  the  Mississippi,  made  preparations  to 
colonize  the  country  on  the  Ohio  River.  About  this  time,  the 
hostile  feeling  that  never  dies  between  the  French  and  British, 
became  stronger  and  more  developed  in  the  western  country. 

The  Indians  throughout  the  Mississippi  Valley  were  on 
friendly  terms  with  the  French,  except,  perhaps,  some  few 
bands  of  the  Cherokees  and  Chickasaws.  There  were  no 
Indian  wars  in  Illinois,  as  was  the  case  around  the  frontiers  of 
the  British  colonies. 

By  British  excitement,  the  red  skins  but  very  seldom  com- 
mitted depredations  on  the  French.  M.  Paget  with  some 
negroes  were  killed  in  his  water-mill,  situated  on  the  east  side 
of  the  Kaskaskia  River,  where  Mr.  Riley's  mill  now  stands,  not 
far  from  the  village.  The  head  of  Paget  was  cut  off  and  thrown 
into  the  hopper  of  his  mill. 


A  Frenchman  will  yield  to  circumstances.  He  can  adapt 
himself  to  a  civilized  or  savage  life.  He  is  pliant  and  accom- 
modating, and  is  willing  to  permit  another  person  to  have  some 
privilege  of  thinking  for  himself. 

An  Englishman  is  the  reverse  of  the  above.  He  is  unwilling 
to  yield  to  almost  unavoidable  circumstances.  He  is  far  from 
being  pliant  or  accommodating;  and  he  is  not  willing  to  permit 
any  one  to  have  an  opinion  but  himself. 

With  these  different  characteristics,  it  is  not  strange  that  the 
French  were  on  friendly  terms  with  the  natives,  while  the  British 
were  disliked  by  them.  Moreover,  the  French  made  their  set- 
tlements in  villages,  and  did  not  occupy  so  much  of  the  Indian 
country  as  the  British  colonists  did.  When  a  Frenchman  was 
with  the  Indians,  he  became  almost  an  Indian.  He  painted, 
dressed  like  them  and  frequently  married  with  them. 

Under  all  these  considerations,  it  was  quite  natural,  that 
almost  all  the  Indian  population  of  the  Mississippi  Valley 
became  warm  and  efficient  allies  of  the  French,  in  the  war  with 
Great  Britain,  which  was  declared  a  few  years  after. 

The  British  were  determined  to  occupy  a  part,  or  all  if  they 
were  able,  of  the  western  country.  Governor  Spottswood  of 
Virginia,  as  early  as  the  year  1710,  made  arrangements  to 
secure  part,  at  any  raje,  of  the  valley  of  the  Mississippi,  and  at 
no  period  after  that  did  that  government  cease  making  efforts 
to  seize  the  country  and  expel  the  French.  They 'bought  part 
of  the  West  of  the  Iroquois,  and  the  treaties  of  cessions  were 
confirmed  at  various  periods,  from  the  year  1684,  down  to  the 
Lancaster  treaty  in  1744. 

Companies  were  organized  by  British  authority  to  settle  and 
occupy  the  West.  The  Ohio  Company  was  established  in  the 
year  1748,  and  many  others  after  that  date,  to  secure  the  valley 
of  the  Ohio. 

The  government  of  Canada  were  sensible  of  the  efforts  of 
the  British  to  seize  the  West,  and  wrote  to  France  on  the  loth 
May,  1744,  that  the  consequences  of  the  British  establishing 
trading -houses  amongst  the  western  Indians  would  be  injurious 
to  the  interests  of  the  French  colonies.  In  November,  1748, 
the  governor  of  Canada  superceded  the  British,  by  occupying 
Fort  Prudhomme  on  the  Yazoo;  where  LaSalle  had  first 
erected  it. 


In  the  summer  of  1749,  he  despatched  Louis  Celeron  with  a 
party  of  soldiers  from  Canada,  to  deposit  lead  plates  in  the 
mounds,  and  in  conspicuous  parts  of  the  western  country,  to 
notify  the  British  of  the  French  right  to  the  same;  but  it  was 
disregarded  by  the  voracious  British.  The  storm  was  gather- 
ing and  nothing  could  avert  it  but  for  the  French  to  abandon 
their  own  country  to  their  ancient  enemy. 

The  valley  of  the  Oyo,  as  it  was  sometimes  called,  was 
doomed  to  experience  a  bloody  war. 

Christopher  Gist,  the  agent  of  the  Ohio  Company,  made  a 
tour  thro'  the  West,  in  1751,  preparatory  to  the  settlement  of 
the  country.  The  French,  in  opposition  to  this,  repaired  the 
forts,  beginning  at  Presque  Isle,  and  extending  to  New  Orleans. 

In  1756,  old  Fort  Chartres,  the  Gibraltar  of  the  West,  was 
repaired  and  rebuilt. 

In  1752,  the  French  and  their  Indian  allies  destroyed  a 
British  trading-house  and  some  families,  and  carried  the  traders 
to  Canada.  This  house  was  situated  at  Pickawillany,  or  per- 
haps Piqua,  in  the  present  State  of  Ohio.  In  this  battle,  four- 
teen Indians,  called  the  Twigtwees,  in  the  British  service,  were 
killed,  and-  whose  tribe,  supposed  to  be  the  Miami  Indians, 
never  ceased  reminding  the  British  of  the  loss  of  their  warriors, 
and  to  make  reparation  for  the  same.  ^Pennsylvania  made  a 
present  of  £200  to  this  nation  for  the  loss  of  their  warriors. 

The  British,  in  1752,  sent  their  commissioners  to  Logstown 
to  treat  with  the  Indians,  right  or  wrong,  for  the  benefit  of  the 
Ohio  and  other  Companies.  This  town  was  situated  on  the 
north  bank  of  the  Ohio,  17  ^  miles  below  Pittsburgh.  By 
means  not  the  most  honorable,  a  treaty  confirming  the  former 
cessions  was  made,  and  thereby  the  British  had  an  artificial 
foothold  in  the  West.  But,  in  fact,  it  was  their  interest,  as  they 
considered  it,  that  made  them  so  tenacious  for  the  western 
country,  and  not  for  any  just  claim  they  had  to  it  by  treaty. 

The  French  were  not  idle.  They  prepared  cannon  and  all 
the  munitions  of  war  in  their  power,  from  Canada  to  New 
Orleans,  and  had  enlisted  in  the  cause  almost  all  the  Indians 
of  the  waters  of  the  Mississippi.  But  the  British  had  still  vastly 
the  advantage,  by  the  proximity  of  the  hardy  and  energic  war- 
riors of  the  British  colonies — a  race  that  soon  after  conquered 
their  freedom  and  independence  from  the  same  British. 


Robert  Dinvviddie,  governor  of  Virginia,  being  disposed  to 
know  the  situation  of  the  French,  and  their  feelings  in  the  West, 
sent  George  Washington,  a  lad  of  nineteen  years  of  age,  to 
Logstown  on  the  Alleghany  River,  and  north  to  Venango  and 
the  head  of  French  Creek.  Major  Washington  was  in  the  West 
late  in  the  fall  of  1753,  and  returned  over  the  mountains  in  the 
winter  with  Gist,  his  guide. 

On  Washington's  return,  in  January,  1754,  he  met  seventeen 
horse-loads  of  materials,  and  some  families,  by  autnority  of  the 
Ohio  Company,  going  out  to  erect  a  fort  at  the  confluence  of 
the  Alleghany  and  Monongahela  Rivers — Pittsburgh,  at  present. 
But  as  soon  as  Dinwiddie  received  the  report  of  Washington, 
he  ordered  two  companies  to  be  raised;  one  by  Washington, 
and  the  other  by  Trent,  a  backwoods-man.  The  last-named 
company  was  ordered  to  march  forth  to  the  forks  of  the  Alle- 
ghany and  Monongahela  Rivers,  and  assist  the  Ohio  Company 
to  complete  the  fort,  and  to  retain  the  same  at  all  hazards. 
Trent  had  left  the  fort  for  supplies;  and  Ensign  Ward  in  com- 
mand, on  the  1 7th  April,  1754,  saw  a  sight  that  caused  him  to 
feel  a  little  like  Nebuchadnezzar  felt,  without  the  tremor.  He 
saw  descending  the  Alleghany  River,  sixty  batteaux  and  three 
hundred  canoes  laden  with  men  and  cannon,  under  command 
of  Contrecoeur,  and  was  compelled  to  surrender  to  this  French 
and  Indian  force,  which  is  stated  to  be  a  round  thousand. 

On  the  28th  May,  1754,  Col.  Washington,  in  command  of  a 
corps  of  Virginia  militia,  found  a  party  of  French  soldiers  on 
the  west  side  of  the  mountains,  not  far  from  the  Laurel  Hill, 
under  the  command  of  M.  Jumonville.  Washington  made  an 
attack  on  them  and  killed  ten  with  the  commander. 

This  skirmish  was  near  Braddock's  grave  and  wherein  Wash- 
ington lost  but  one  American  and  had  only  two  wounded.  M. 
Villiers,  the  brother  of  Jumonville,  who  was  a  military  officer  at 
Fort  Chartres  in  Illinois,  requested  and  obtained  leave  to  attack 
Washington  to  avenge  the  assassination,  as  he  alleged,  of  his 
brother.  M.  Villiers  left  Fort  Chartres,  ascended  the  Ohio 
River,  gathering  strength  as  he  proceeded,  and  on  the  3d  of 
July,  1754,  Washington  surrendered  the  fort  to  him,  called 
Fort  Necessity.  Washington  had  70  men  killed.  Altho'  these 
transactions  occurred  on  the  upper  Ohio,  they  were  at  that  day, 


nevertheless,  directly  connected  with  Illinois,  and  as  such  they 
are  narrated  here. 

During  these  years,  1750  and  onward,  while  the  war  was 
being  commenced  on  the  western  side  of  the  Alleghany  moun- 
tains, both  the  French  settlements  in  Illinois  and  lower  Louisi- 
ana were  not  only  improving  in  population,  but  also  in  the  sub- 
stantial articles  of  produce.  Rice  and  indigo  were  the  chief 
crops  in  Louisiana,  and  cotton  was  introduced  into  both  Louisi- 
ana and  Illinois  about  the  year  1750.  Tobacco  was  also  culti- 
vated at  Baton  Rogue,  Natches,  and  Illinois. 

It  is  stated  that  M.  Dubreuil  invented  a  cotton-gin,  to  pick 
the  seeds  from  the  cotton.  The  invention  is  not  described ;  but 
it  is  stated  that  the  facility  of  picking  the  cotton  by  this  inven- 
tion increased  the  culture  of  cotton  in  Louisiana. 

The  invention  of  the  cotton-gin  is  amongst  the  greatest  efforts 
of  human  genius.  It  has  become  old  and  common  since  Whit- 
ney's invention;  so  that  it  is  now  looked  upon  as  an  invention 
almost  growing  with  the  cotton.  There  have  been  so  many 
other  discoveries  and  improvements  made  since  Whitney's  day, 
that  his  great  invention  is  not  regarded  as  it  should  be. 

I  well  remember  the  trouble  to  extricate  the  seeds  from  the 
cotton  before  the  cotton-gin  was  in  use.  Cotton  was  then  worth 
little  or  nothing;  now  it  clothes  millions  and  millions  of  people. 
Whitney  deserves  to  be  ranked  with  the  greatest  and  best  bene- 
factors of  mankind. 

At  this  time  the  whole  coast  toward  the  mouth  of  the  Missis- 
sippi was  in  a  state  of  tolerable  cultivation,  and  mostly  protected 
by  levees  on  the  banks. 

The  Jesuits,  in  1751,  introduced  into  Louisiana  the  sugar- 
cane for  cultivation.  They  imported  a  quantity  of  cane  from 
St.  Domingo.  M.  Dubreuil,  I  presume,  the  cotton  inventor,  a 
man  of  capital  and  enterprise,  in  1758,  opened  a  sugar  planta- 
tion on  a  large  scale.  He  erected  the  first  sugar-mill  in  Louisi- 
ana. His  plantation  occupied  the  lower  part  of  New  Orleans, 
known  as  the  "suburb  of  St.  Marigny." 

This  year,  1752,  another  Chickasaw  war  commenced,  and  ter- 
minated almost  similar  to  the  other  wars  against  that  tribe  of 
Indians.  The  Marquis  deVaudreuil,  governor  of  Louisiana,  with 
seven  hundred  regular  soldiers  and  Indians  almost  without 


stint,  commenced  the  march.  The  route  of  invasion  was  up  the 
Tombigbee;  the  same  that  Bienville  pursued  in  1736.  He  had 
cannon  and  munitions  of  war  in  abundance;  but  failed.  He 
left  a  strong  garrison  in  the  heart  of  the  Chickasaw  country. 

I  do  not  see  that  any  Illinois  troops  were  engaged  in  this 
campaign.  I  presume  the  British  on  the  upper  Ohio  occupied 
the  attention  of  the  people  of  Illinois  too  much  for  any  of  the 
military  to  be  spared  South. 

Contrecceur,  the  French  commander,  fortified  the  forks  of 
the  Alleghany  and  Monongahela  Rivers,  and  called  it  Fort 
Duquesne,  in  honor  of  the  governor  of  Canada.  This  fort 
occupied  a  conspicuous  situation  even  in  the  yearxi754,  as  the 
City  of  Pittsburgh  does  at  the  present  time. 

About  this  time,  the  Marquis  de  Vaudreuil  was  transferred  to 
the  government  of  New  France  or  Canada,  and  M.  Kerlerec,  a 
captain  in  the  navy,  was  appointed  governor  of  Louisiana. 

Efforts  were  made  to  work  the  mines  of  lead  and  copper  in 
Illinois,  and  miners  were  sent  from  Paris  for  this  purpose. 

As  the  war  was  raging  between  Great  Britain  and  France, 
and  as  the  quarrel  arose  about  the  western  country,  Great  Brit- 
ain sent  to  America  a  large  army  to  invade  the  West. 

General  Braddock  landed  from  England  in  1755,  at  Alexan- 
dria, Virginia,  with  '1000  regulars,  and,  April  20,  with  about 
2000  men,  regulars  and  provincials,  proceeded  west  to  capture 
Fort  Duquesne.  Braddock  was  defeated  and  killed,  and  a  great 
portion  of  his  army  destroyed  by  the  French  and  Indians.  In 
consequence  of  this  signal  overthrow  of  this  great  British  army, 
the  valley  of  the  Mississippi  remained  quiet  for  two  years. 

In  1758,  another  British  army  was  organized  under  Gen. 
Forbes,  and  at  whose  approach  near  Duquesne,  Contrecoeur 
and  his  forces  burnt  the  fort  and  descended  the  river  to  Illinois 
and  Louisiana. 

Altho'  the  war  raged  in  Canada  and  south  of  the  lakes,  yet 
Illinois  remained  as  quiet  and  as  peaceable  as  if  none  existed. 

From  the  hostility  of  the  French  and  Indians  to  Great  Brit- 
ain, no  Briton  ever  saw  the  upper  Mississippi,  until  the  treaty  of 
Paris,  Feb.  10,  1763,  ceded  all  New  France  to  Great  Britain.  The 
first  Britons  who  visited  the  country,  were  the  military  detach- 
ment under  the  command  of  Capt.  Sterling,  of  the  Royal  High- 


landers,  to  take  possession  of  the  country,  in  the  year  1765,  two 
years  after  the  treaty  of  cession. 

This  is  the  strongest  evidence  of  the  hatred  entertained  by 
the  French  and  Indians  against  the  British,  that  no  Briton 
ever  saw  the  Mississippi  before  the  year  1765,  altho'  it  was 
inhabited  by  the  French  from  the  year  1686 — always  excepting 
the  English  Turn,  below  New  Orleans. 

The  French  settlements  in  Illinois  were  at  the  greatest  pros- 
perity at  the  close  of  the  war,  in  1763,  and  ever  since,  to  this 
day,  the  French  inhabitants  have  been  declining  in  Illinois.  It 
is  stated  that  Old  Kaskaskia,  the  Paris  of  Illinois,  in  1763, 
contained  two  or  three  thousand  inhabitants,  and  was  a  place 
of  business,  wealth,  and  fashion.  The  Jesuits  had  a  college 
there,  and  all  other  ecclesiastical  concerns,  suited  to  the  wealth 
and  population  of  the  country.  The  commerce  to  New  Orleans 
was  regular  and  profitable.  A  great  portion  of  the  Illinois 
Egypt,  the  American  Bottom,  was  in  a  state  of  profitable  culti- 
vation. Wheat,  tobacco,  and  various  other  crops  were  raised, 
not  only  for  consumption  but  for  exportation.  But  over  this 
happy  prosperity  a  sad  cloud  of  misfortune  extended.  The 
British,  whom  they  so  bitterly  hated,  and  for  good  cause,  cap- 
tured the  country  by  force  of  arms,  from  these  innocent  and 
inoffending  people. 

The  inhabitants  of  Illinois  saw  how  the  British  treated  the 
Acadians,  in  the  year  1755.  At  the  treaty  of  Aix  la  Chappelle, 
Acadia  was  ceded  to  Great  Britain,  but  retained  in  it  some 
French  inhabitants.  The  British  were  fearful  that  these  Acadi- 
ans, would  join  their  countrymen — the  French  of  Canada — in 
the  war.  This  was  "the  front  of  their  offending."  The  Navy 
of  Great  Britain  was  ordered  to  kidnap  these  unoffending 
people,  and  drag  them  from  their  own  country.  Their  personal 
property  was  destroyed,  and  themselves  landed  on  the  shores 
of  the  colonies,  without  friends  or  means  of  support.  The 
public  odium  of  a  cold-blooded  murder  would  be  a  measure  of 
too  atrocious  a  character  for  even  the  British  government  to 
bear;  but  they  did  perform  acts  of  atrocity  to  the  Acadian 
people,  in  the  dark,  that  were  equally  criminal. 

These  poor  people,  destitute  of  everything,  even  the  support 
of  life,  until  relieved  by  their  countrymen  of  the  West,  wan- 


dered  over  the  States,  "not  knowing  where  to  lay  their  heads;" 
and  at  last  crossed  the  Alleghany  mountains,  in  the  yedr  1755. 
Boats  were  provided  for  them  on  the  Ohio,  and  they  reached 
the  open  arms  and  hearts  of  their  friends  in  New  Orleans. 

In  the  annals  of  history  such  an  act  of  outrage  and  atrocity 
scarcely  can  be  found.  It  is  of  the  same  character  as  the  British 
government  offering,  and  giving  gold  for  the  scalps  of  women 
and  children  in  our  Revolutionary  War.  These  Acadians  were 
helpless.  The  British  government  had  them  under  her  pro- 
tection, and  by  having  the  power,  and  these  people  being 
French,  they  committed  this  crime  which  would  make  a  Turk 
blush.  And  yet  we  hear  some  in  the  United  States  talking 
favorably  of  the  "fatherland."  God  preserve  me  from  such  a 

These  Acadians  settled  on  the  banks  of  the  Mississippi,  which 
has  given  to  that  part  of  the  river  the  name  of  the  Acadian 
Coast,  to  this  day.  Their  descendants  are  there  yet,  and  are 
respectable  citizens.  It  will  be  seen  in  the  next  chapter,  that 
one-third  left  the  country,  on  account  of  their  hatred  to  the 

Cahokia,  at  the  session  in  1763,  was  also  a  respectable  village, 
as  to  population  and  improvements.  As  has  been  stated,  a 
large  tract  of  country  was  under  cultivation,  which  yielded  them 
much  for  exportation,  besides  an  ample  supply  for  home  con- 

The  village  of  Prairie  du  Pont  was  settled  by  emigrants  from 
the  other  French  villages,  in  the  year  1760,  and  was  a  prosper- 
ous settlement.  They  had  their  common  field  and  commons, 
which  were  confirmed  to  them  by  the  government  of  the  United 
States.  This  village  is  situated  about  one  mile  south  of  Caho- 
kia, and  extended  south  from  the  creek  of  the  same  name,  for 
some  distance.  It  is  a  kind  of  suburb  to  Cahokia.  The  arpent 
lands  of  this  common  field  extended  from  the  bluff  to  the  Mis- 
sissippi, with  a  few  exceptions,  and  were  three  or  four  miles  in 
width.  It  is  stated  that  this  village,  in  the  year  1765,  contained 
fourteen  families. 

The  custom  amongst  the  inhabitants  of  the  Illinois  villages, 
in  regard  to  making  and  keeping  in  repair,  the  fence  of  this 
common  field  was,  that  each  proprietor  of  land  should  make 


and  keep  in  repair  the  fence  passing  over  his  land.  And  if  a 
tract  of  land  was  abandoned  by  its  owner,  as  was  the  case  some- 
times, the  land  was  sold  out  at  the  church-door  to  any  one  who 
would  make  the  fence  to  enclose  it.  This  system  was  based  on 
the  principle  that  each  land  proprietor  should  make  the  fence  in 
proportion  to  his  land. 

These  early  French  had  many  customs  in  relation  to  the  com- 
mon fields  that  were  just  and  equitable.  There  was  a  time 
fixed,  that  all  should  have  their  crops  gathered.  After  that  the 
fence  was  not  attended  to;  and  the  same  in  the  spring,  to  repair 
the  fence  and  keep  the  stock  out  of  the  field. 

The  French,  in  those  days,  mostly  sowed  spring  wheat;  so 
that  the  wheat  crop  was  preserved  in  the  spring,  which  was  the 
object  of  being  rigid  in  repairing  the  fences.  Sometimes  wheat 
was  sowed  late  in  the  fall,  and  the  cattle  did  not  much  injure  it 
during  the  winter. 

Indian  corn  was  -not  so  much  cultivated  as  wheat,  or  used  by 
the  inhabitants.  A  species  of  Indian  or  hominy  corn  was  raised 
for  the  voyagers,  which  was  an  article  of  commerce.  The  early 
French  did  not  use  Indian  corn-meal  for  bread  to  any  great 
extent.  They  raised  some  corn  for  stock,  and  to  fatten  hogs. 
The  corn  they  cultivated  was  of  the  flinty,  hard  grain,  and 
ripened  early  in  the  fall. 

Their  farming  implements  were  neither  well  made  or  of  the 
proper  kind.  The  old  plow  used  by  the  French  would  be  a 
curiosity  at  this  day.  It  had  not  much  iron  about  it.  A  small 
piece  of  iron  was  on  the  front  part,  covering  the  wood,  which  in 
some  manner  resembled  our  Gary  plows  of  the  present  day. 
They  had  no  coulter,  and  had  a  large  wooden  mould-board. 
The  handles  were  short  and  almost  perpendicular;  the  beam 
was  nearly  straight,  and  rested  on  an  axle  supported  by  two 
small  wheels;  the  wheels  were  low,  and  the  beam  was  so  fixed, 
on  the  axle,  with  a  chain,  or  rope  of  raw  hide,  that  the  plow 
could  be  placed  deep  or  shallow  in  the  ground.  The  wheel 
made  the  plow  unsteady. 

The  French  settlers  seldom  plowed  with  horses;  but  used 
oxen.  It  is  the  custom  of  the  French  everywhere,  to  yoke  oxen 
by  the  horns,  and  not  by  the  neck.  Oxen  can  draw  as  much 
by  the  horns  as  by  the  neck,  but  it  looks  more  savage. 


Sometimes  the  French  worked  oxen  in  carts,  but  mostly  used 
horses.  I  presume  that  a  wagon  was  not  seen  in  Illinois  for 
nearly  one  hundred  years  after  its  first  settlement.  A  French 
cart,  as  well  as  a  plow,  was  rather  a  curiosity.  It  was  con- 
structed without  an  atom  of  iron.  When  the  Americans  came 
to  the  country,  they  called  these  carts  "barefooted  carts," 
because  they  had  no  iron  on  the  wheels. 

In  a  country  where  there  was  no  rocks  to  travel  over,  these 
carts  answered  a  valuable  purpose.  They  were  mostly  used  for 
farming  business.  The  ox-yoke  was  almost  a  straight  stick  of 
wood,  cut  at  the  ends  to  fit  the  horns  of  the  ox,  and  was  tied  to 
the  horns  with  a  strap  of  raw  hide. 

The  primitive  French  had  no  tanned  leather  for  any  purpose 
whatever.  They  made  harness  out  of  raw  hide,  which  was 
strong  but  rough.  They  had  the  traces  for  their  horses  plaited 
of  small  strands  of  raw  hide,  so  that  they  were  round  and  neat. 
These  traces  were  very  strong,  and  such  are  used  to  this  day  in 

The  French  houses  were  generally  one  story  high,  and  made 
of  wood.  Some  few  were  built  of  stone.  There  was  not  a 
brick  house  in  the  country  for  one  hundred  or  more  years  from 
the  first  settlement.  These  houses  were  formed  of  large  posts 
or  timbers;  the  posts  being  set  three  or  four  feet  apart 'in  many 
of  them.  In  others  the  posts  were  closer  together,  and  the 
intervals  filled  up  with  mortar  made  of  common  clay  and  cut 
straw.  The  mortar  filled  up  the  cracks,  so  that  the  wall  was 
even  and  regular.  Over  the  whole  wall,  outside  and  inside,  it 
was  generally  whitewashed  with  fine  white  lime,  so  that  these 
houses  presented  a  clean,  neat  appearance.  The  other  class  of 
houses  having  the  posts  farther  apart,  the  spaces  were  filled  up 
with  puncheons.  The  posts  were  guttered  for  the  puncheons  to 
fit  in.  These  houses  were  used  for  stables,  barns,  etc.,  etc. 
Some  dwelling-houses  and  the  stables  and  barns  were  made  of 
longer  posts  set  in  the  ground,  instead  of  a  sill  as  was  used  in 
the  other  houses.  These  posts  were  of  cedar  or  other  durable 
wood.  The  small  houses  attached  to  the  residence  were  gen- 
erally set  with  the  posts  in  the  ground.  The  covering  of  the 
houses,  stables,  etc.,  was  generally  of  straw,  or  long  grass  cut  in 
the  prairie.  These  thatched  roofs  looked  well,  and  lasted  longer 


than  shingles.  They  were  made  steep  and  neat.  All  the 
houses,  almost,  had  galleries  all  around  them.  The  posts  of 
the  gallery  were  generally  of  cedar  or  mulberry. 

The  floors  of  the  galleries,  as  well  as  the  floors  of  the  houses, 
were  made  of  puncheons,  as  sawed  boards  were  scarce.  The 
roofs  of  the  dwelling  house  were  uniform  and  peculiar.  They 
were  made  of  rafters  and  lath  for  sheeting.  These  roofs  had  no 
gable  ends  perpendicular,  but  were  shingled  on  the  ends  as  well 
as  the  sides.  The  ends  sloped  considerably  toward  the  centre 
of  the  building,  so  that  the  shingles  would  lie  on  the  lath.  No 
nails  were  used  to  fasten  the  shingles  to  the  lath.  Holes  were 
bored  in  the  shingles  and  pegs  put  in  them.  With  these  pegs 
the  shingles  were  hung  on  the  lath,  and  the  holes  and  pegs  cov- 
ered so  completely  that  no  one  would  know  at  a  distance  that 
the  shingles  were  not  nailed  on.  The  outside  course  of  shingles 
was  generally  nailed,  and  then  one  course  bound  another,  until 
the  whole  roof  was  solid  and  good;  never  leaking  one  drop. 
The  shingles  were  generally  made  of  white  oak,  and  lasted  for 
many  years.  On  the  comb  of  the  roof  a  cross  of  wood  was 
often  placed,  that  also  lasted  a  long  time. 

The  doors  were  plain  batton  work,  out  of  walnut  mostly. 
The  windows  had  generally  some  glass  in  them,  and  the  sash 
opened  and  shut  on  hinges,  as  the  French  fashion  is  generally. 
The  houses  were  mostly  raised  from  the  earth  a  foot  or  two  by 
a  stone  wall.  The  French,  in  these  their  happy  days,  had  neat, 
clean  wells,  nicely  walled  with  rock;  and  a  windlass  fixed  to 
them,  so  that  water  was  convenient  and  clean. 

The  French  villages  were  laid  out  by  common  consent  on  the 
same  plan  or  system.  The  blocks  were  about  three  hundred 
feet  square,  and  each  block  contained  four  lots.  The  streets 
were  rather  narrow,  but  always  at  right  angles.  Lots  in  ancient 
times  were  enclosed  by  cedar  posts  or  pickets,  planted  about 
two  feet  in  the  ground  and  about  five  feet  above.  These  pickets 
were  placed  touching  each  other,  so  that  a  tight  and  safe  fence 
was  made  around  each  proprietor's  lot.  The  upper  ends  of  the 
pickets  were  sharpened,  so  it  was  rather  difficult  to  get  over  the 
fence.  A  neat  gate  was  generally  made  in  the  fence,  opposite 
to  the  door  of  the  house,  and  the  whole  concern  was  generally 
kept  clean  and  neat;  so  that  their  residences  had  the  air  of 
cleanliness  and  comfort. 


The  costume  of  the  French  was  like  all  other  matters  apper- 
taining to  them,  of  that  day,  singular  and  peculiar.  It  seems 
the  masses  of  the  French,  in  France  as  well  as  Illinois,  have  a 
strong  predeliction  for  the  blue  color.  Blue  handkerchiefs  were 
generally  worn  on  the  head  by  both  male  and  female.  It  was 
tastfully  tied  on  the  head,  and  seemed  rather  to  become  the 
male  in  place  of  a  hat. 

Hats  in  olden  times  were  very  little  used.  The  capot  made 
of  white  blanket,  was  the  universal  dress  for  the  laboring  class . 
of  people.  A  kind  of  cap  was  attached  behind  at  the  cape, 
which  in  cold  weather  was  raised  over  the  head,  in  the  house, 
or  in  good  weather,  was  permitted  to  rest  on  the  shoulders  like 
an  ordinary  cape.  Coarse  blue  stuff  the  working  men  used  for 
pantaloons  .in  summer,  and  buckskin,  or  cloth  in  the  winter. 
The  females  did  not  labor  so  hard  as  the  males,  and,  therefore, 
dressed  neater  and  better  than  the  male  part  of  community. 

The  French  generally,  and  the  females  of  that  nation  partic- 
ularly, caught  up  the  French  fashions  from  New  Orleans  and 
Paris,  and  with  a  singular  avidity  adopted  them  to  the  full 
extent  of  their  means  and  talents.  The  females  generally,  and 
the  males  a  good  deal,  wore  the  deer-skin  moccasons.  A  nicely 
made  moccason,  for  a  female  in  the  house,  is  both  neat  and  ser- 
viceable. «' 

The  men  out  of  doors  wore  a  coarser  and  stronger  article 
made  out  of  thicker  leather,  which  the  Americans  call  "shoe 
packs."  But  both  sexes  were  always  provided  with  something 
tasty  and  neat  for  the  church  and  ballroom.  In  these  places 
the  French  took  great  pleasure.  I  do  not  believe  there  was  a 
more  devout  people  than  the  primitive  French.  With  senti- 
ments of  true  piety  it  afforded  them  the  utmost  happiness  to 
attend  the  church  and  perform  their  devotions.  After  their 
religious  duties  were  performed,  recreation  and  amusement  of 
an  innocent  and  harmless  character  were  indulged  in,  on  perhaps 
the  afternoon  of  the  same  day  they  attended  church. 

But  it  was  in  the  ballroom  where  these  merry  and  innocent 
people  enjoyed  themselves.  Dull  care  was  entirely  cast  aside 
for  the  pleasures  of  the  dance.  It  is  astonishing  the  excitement 
and  animation  that  is  experienced  in  a  French  ballroom.  The 
old  and  young,  the  rich  and  poor,  all  meet  together  in  good 


feeling,  and  mingle  together  with  hearts  overflowing  with  the 
ecstasies  of  merriment. 

The  ancient  innocent  custom  was  for  the  young  men  about 
the  last  of  the  year  to  disguise  themselves  in  old  clothes,  as 
beggars,  and  go  around  the  village  in  the  several  houses,  where 
they  knew  they  would  be  well  received.  They  enter  the  houses 
dancing  what  they  call  the  Gionie,  which  is  a  friendly  request 
for  them  to  meet  and  have  a  ball  to  dance  away  the  old  year. 

The  people,  young  and  old,  met  each  one  carrying  along 
some  refreshment,  and  then  they  do,  in  good  earnest,  dance 
away  the  old  year. 

About  the  6th  of  January,  in  each  year,  which  is  called  le 
Jour  de  Rats,  a  party  is  given,  and  four  beans  are  baked  in  a 
large  cake;  this  cake  is  distributed  amongst  the  gentlemen, 
and  each  one  who  receives  a  bean,  is  proclaimed  king.  These 
four  kings  are  to  give  the  next  ball.  These  are  called  "king 
balls."  These  kings  select  each  one  a  queen;  and  make  her  a 
suitable  present.  They  arrange  all  things  -necessary  for  the 
dancing  party. 

In  these  merry  parties,  no  set  supper  is  indulged  in.  They 
go  there  not  to  eat,  but  to  be  and  make  merry.  They  have 
refreshments  of  cake  and  coffee  served  round  at  proper  intervals. 
Sometimes  bouillon,  as  the  French  call  it,  takes  the  place  of 
coffee.  Toward  the  close  of  the  party,  the  old  queens  select 
each  one  a  new  king,  and  kisses  him  to  qualify  him  into  office ; 
then  each  new  king  chooses  his  new  queen,  and  goes  thro'  the 
ceremony  as  before.  In  this  manner  the  king  balls  are  kept  up 
all  the  carnaval. 

In  the  ballroom  much  order  and  decorum  are  observed.  Two 
aged  discreet  persons  are  chosen,  who  are  called  provosts;  one 
to  select  the  ladies  for  the  dance,  and  the  other  for  the  gentle- 
men, so  that  each  one  dances  in  proper  turn.  It  is  in  this  man- 
ner that  these  innocent  and  merry  people  spend  much  of  their 
nights  in  the  winter.  The  old  people  regulate  all;  the  time  to 
retire  and  the  time  to  meet  again.  By  this  regulation,  much  of 
the  excesses  of  dancing  parties  are  avoided.  The  young  people 
are  not  so  capable  to  judge  in  these  matters  as  the  old. 

The  French,  in  the  early  settlement  of  the  country,  turned 
their  attention  to  the  Indian  trade,  and  to  hunting,  in  a  great 


measure,  for  their  support.  Game  was  then  plenty.  Buffalo 
and  other  wild  animals  were  found  in  the  prairies  between  Kas- 
kaskia  and  Vincennes,  that  served  to  supply  the  inhabitants 
with  animal  food.  The  Indians  called  the  Kaskaskia  Raccoon 
River,  for  the  number  of  those  animals  living  on  it.  A  great 
many  of  the  inhabitants  were  expert  voyagers  and  hunters. 
These  hunters  and  voyagers  were  a  hardy  and  energetic  race  of 
men.  No  hardships  or  perils  terrified  them;  and  this  laborious 
and  difficult  service  was  performed  with  pleasure,  and  frequently 
with  songs.  Often  these  innocent  and  kind-hearted  men  per- 
formed this  labor  with  scanty  allowance  of  food,  and  at  times 
without  anything,  for  days  together,  to  eat. 

These  people  solved  the  problem :  that  an  honest  and  virtuous 
people  need  no  government.  Nothing  like  a  regular  court  of 
law  ever  existed  in  the  country  prior  to  the  British  occupation 
of  Illinois,  in  the  year  1765. 

The  governor  and  commandants  of  posts,  together  with  the 
advice  of  the  priests,  regulated  the  police  of  the  country,  and 
gave  friendly  council,  which  either  settled  controversies,  or  pre- 
vented them  arising. 

The  customs  of  Paris,  or  more  properly,  the  laws  of  France, 
were  recognized,  and  governed  in  descents  of  property,  and  all 
other  things.  These  people  never  paid  any  taxes,  and,  I  think, 
worked  on  the  public  roads  very  little  or  none.  It  is  true,  they 
were  organized  into  military  companies,  and  mustered.  They 
had  militia  officers  in  each  village,  who,  it  seems,  were  comman- 
dants in  other  matters  as  well  as  military. 

Keeping  up  a  military  organization  was  natural  with  the 
French ;  and  their  extreme  exposed  situation  was  also  another 
reason.  They  had  three  wars  with  Great  Britain  during  their 
occupation  of  Illinois,  and  the  British  were  endeavoring  all  the 
time  to  poison  the  Indians  against  them;  so  that  the  military 
services  were  punctually  rendered  to  the  country. 

On  the  roth  February,  1763,  a  treaty  of  cession  of  New 
France,  except  a  small  portion  of  Louisiana,  was  made  between 
Great  Britain  and  France,  and  thereby  the  Illinois  country 
passed  to  the  government  of  Great  Britain. 


Illinois  under  the  British  Government. 

ILLINOIS  was  so  remote,  and  so  small  a  settlement,  that  the 
British  did  not  take  possession  of  it  until  Capt.  Stirling,  of  the 
Royal  Highlanders,  as  has  been  already  stated,  arrived  at  Fort 
Chartres,  in  the  year  1765,  and  took  possession  of  the  country. 

M.  Saint  Ange  de  Belle  Rive  was  then  commandant  at  Fort 
Chartres,  and  governor  of  Illinois.  Saint  Ange  retired  to  St. 
Louis  on  the  arrival  of  Capt.  Stirling. 

It  is  stated  that  all  the  population  of  Illinois,  black  and  white, 
before  the  cession,  did  not  exceed  three  thousand  souls,  and 
one-third  left  it  at,  and  on  account  of,  the  cession.  Writers  say 
not  more  than  two  thousand  French,  British,  and  Negroes, 
remained  in  the  country  after  the  British  took  possession  of  it. 

The  mission  of  St.  Sulpice  had  a  fine  plantation  near  Caho- 
kia,  in  Prairie  du  Pont,  in  the  year  1764,  and  a  very  good  mill 
for  corn  and  planks.  They  sold  their  plantation  and  mill  to  a 
Frenchman,  M.  Gerardine,  who  remained  under  the  British  gov- 
ernment; and  they  returned  to  France. 

Capt.  Stirling  brought  with  him  the  proclamation  of  Gen. 
Gage,  who  was  commander-in-chief  of  all  the  British  forces  in 
North  America.  This  proclamation  was  dated  at  New  York, 
3Oth  Dec.,  1764,  and  was  a  kind  of  constitution  for  the  govern- 
ment of  Illinois.  It  granted  the  right  of  worship  to  the  Catho- 
lics and  many  other  salutary  regulations. 

Capt.  Stirling  died  a  short  time  after  he  arrived  in  Illinois, 
and  was  succeeded  first  by  Major  Frazier,  and  next  by  Col. 
Reed — the  latter  became  notorious  for  his  military  oppressions. 
These  all  gave  place  to  Col.  Wilkins,  who  arrived  at  Kaskaskia 
on  the  5th  Sept.,  1768. 

Col.  Wilkins  issued  a  proclamation  authorized  by  Gen.  Gage, 
to  establish  a  court  of  justice.  Col.  Wilkins  appointed  seven 
judges,  who  held  the  first  court  at  Fort  Chartres,  6th  Dec.,  1768. 
This  was  the  first  court  of  common -law  jurisdiction  established 



in  the  Mississippi  Valley.     Courts  were  held  once  each  month- 

Pontiac,  perhaps  one  of  the  greatest  Indian  chiefs  that  ever 
existed  in  North  America,  was  killed  in  Cahokia,  in  the  year 
1765,  by  a  Peoria  Indian.  This  great  man  was  dreaded  by  the 
British,  who  employed  an  Indian  to  assassinate  him.  This 
nation  feared  the  great  Napoleon.  She  did  not  assassinate  him 
in  open  day,  but  confined  him  on  the  sickly  island  of  St.  Helena, 
so  that  he  dragged  out  some  years  of  existence,  in  mental  ago- 
nies worse  than  death. 

Pontiac  was  a  chief  of  the  Ottawa  nation  and  raised  near 
Detroit.  He  had  in  his  veins  French  blood,  and  was  imbued 
and  trained  with  the  mos  Ideadly  hostility  to  the  British.  He 
declared  before  the  "Great  Spirit — the  Master  of  Life,"  eternal 
hostility  to  the  British,  like  Hannibal  did  against  the  Romans. 
Both  he  and  Hannibal  were  fighting  in  the  most  holy  cause — 
the  defence  of  their  countries — and  both  were  sacrificed,  and 
their  respective  countries  wrested  from  them  by  their  merciless 

After  the  French  ceded  the  country  to  the  British,  and  they 
making  preparations  to  garrison  and  occupy  it  from  the  Missis- 
sippi to  the  Arleghany  Mountains,  Pontiac  saw  at  once  that  the 
Indians  must  either  defend  their  country  or  entirely  lose  it. 
They  knew  the  mode  of  the  British  was  different  from,  the 
French,  in  colonizing  the  country.  The  British  drove  the 
natives  from  their  homes,  while  the  French  lived  in  peace  with 

Pontiac  (sometimes  pronounced  Pondiac),  whose  soul,  like 
that  of  Patrick  Henry,  was  fired  with  true  patriotism,  conceived 
the  grand  design  to  unite  all  the  Indians  in  one  league,  from 
the  Carolinas  in  the  south  to  the  northern  lakes,  and  from  the 
Mississippi  in  the  west  to  the  Alleghany  Mountains,  against 
the  British.  This  was  the  greatest  and  most  efficient  combina- 
tion of  Indians  ever  made  on  the  continent;  and  it  was  not  an 
idle  scheme,  conceived  in  the  brain  and  never  executed,  but  in 
fact,  it  was  executed  to  the  destruction  of  many  British  forts, 
and  to  the  loss  of  many  lives. 

Pontiac  saw  and  advised  his  brethren  to  a  sense  of  their  com- 
mon danger.  He  visited,  in  a  short  time,  all  the  tribes  within 
the  above  limits,  containing  at  this  day  eight  or  ten  millions  of 


Americans.  He  settled  and  quieted,  for  the  common  cause,  all 
the  old  feuds  and  differences  amongst  the  various  nations,  from 
the  north  to  the  south,  and  from  the  east  to  the  west.  He 
appealed  to  the  passions  of  the  warriors,  and  stated  to  them 
that  the  French  king  had  authorized  him  to  drive  the  British 
out  of  the  country.  That  the  Great  Spirit  also  decided  that  the 
Indians  should  destroy  the  British  enemy.  The  will  of  the 
"Master  of  Life"  was  given  to  a  Delaware  chief  in  a  dream. 
The  Great  Spirit  said:  "Why  do  you  suffer  these  dogs  in  red 
coats,  to  enter  your  country,  and  take  the  lands  I  have  given  ta 
you?  Drive  them  from  it.  Drive  them — and  when  you  are  in 
trouble  I  will  help  you." 

Pontiac  had  acquired,  by  his  military  powers  and  wise  coun- 
cils with  his  brethren,  a  standing  amongst  the  Indians,  that 
Tecumseh,  or  perhaps  any  other  Indian  warrior,  never  pos- 
sessed. He  had  been  the  master-spirit  amongst  the  Indians, 
in  their  wars  with  the  French,  against  the  British,  from  the 
Acadian  war,  in  1747,  to  the  year  1763,  when  this  extraordinary 
Indian  effort  was  made  to  force  their  enemy  out  of  the  country. 
He  was  a  conspicuous  Indian  leader  in  the  defence  of  Fort 
Duquesne,  and  in  the  memorable  defeat  of  Braddock,  in  the 
year  1755.  He  had  acquired,  and  richly  deserved,  the  name  of 
emperor,  amongst  the  Indian  nations. 

The  plan  of  attack  was  for  the  Indians  to  rise  and  take  all 
the  British  forts  in  the  West,  on  the  same  day,  and  this  was 
kept  a  profound  secret,  except  in  one  instance,  where  a  squaw 
divulged  it. 

This  Indian  Bonaparte  was  well  acquainted  with  the  country, 
as  well  as  with  the  Indian  character.  He  also  knew  all  the 
leading  warriors  amongst  the  various  tribes,  and  with  this 
knowledge  he  made  out  the  plan  of  attack  of  each  fort,  and 
the  warriors  and  tribes  that  should  execute  it.  All  these 
things  were  done  by  the  force  of  genius,  without  education, 
and  even  without  writing.  The  forts  were  numerous,  and  lay 
at  a  distance  from  each  other.  All,  except  Fort  Niagara,  were 
to  be  captured  on  the  same  day — some  by  open  attack,  and 
others  by  stratagem.  Fort  Niagara  was  considered  by  the 
Indians  too  strong  for  their  means  of  attack.  The  forts,  trad- 
ing-posts, and  settlements,  which  were  to  be  destroyed,  were 


Detroit,  Mackinac,  Green  Bay,  St.  Joseph,  Ouiatenon  or  Weas 
town  on  the  Wabash,  Miami,  Sandusky,  Presque  Isle,  Le  Bceuf 
Venango,  Ligonier,  Pitt,  Bedford,  and  Cumberland.  All  these 
forts  perished  under  the  hand  of  Pontiac  except  three. 

When  Major  Rogers  was  marching  his  military  forces  to  take 
possession  of  Detroit  and  Mackinac,  by  orders  of  Gen.  Am- 
herst,  in  the  year  1760,  and  when  the  detachment  entered  the 
territory  of  Pontiac,  he  sent  messengers  to  inform  Maj.  Rogers 
that  their  chief,  Pontiac,  was  master  of  that  country,  and  that 
no  armed  warriors  of  any  nation,  should  pass  thro',  or  settle  in 
it,  without  his  permission. 

Pontiac  knew  he  was  not  prepared  at  that  time  to  contend 
in  battle  with  the  British,  and  made  a  treaty  with  Maj.  Rogers, 
merely  to  deceive  him,  and  to  gain  time  to  prepare  for  the  gen- 
eral destruction  of  the  British  forts  and  settlements. 

It  required  much  sagacity,  talents,  and  courage  to  plan  the 
attacks  against  these  forts,  and  to  capture  them.  It  must  be 
recollected  that  the  Indians  had  no  cannon,  and  if  they  had, 
they  had  not  science  to  use  them.  They  had  no  provisions  to 
sustain  an  army,  more  than  they  could  obtain  from  the  game 
in  the  forest.  The  leaders  had  no  power  by  government  over 
the  warriors,  to  enforce  order  or  obedience,  longer  or  different, 
than  the  parties  pleased.  The  various  tribes  and  the  forts  and 
settlements  to  be  destroyed  were  a  great  distance  apart.  To 
plan  this  organization  and  to  execute  it  showed  extraordinary 
talents.  Under  the  circumstances,  so  adverse  and  so  appalling 
to  ordinary  minds,  for  Pontiac  to  accomplish  all,  as  he  did, 
raises  him  high  in  the  temple  of  fame;  as  one  of  the  greatest 
men  that  lived  in  any  age  or  any  country.  If  he  had  a  Homer 
to  sing  his  battles,  his  name  would  be  transmitted  to  posterity 
with  as  much  honor  and  glory  as  any  of  the  Greek  heroes. 
The  Greeks  fought  to  conquer — Pontiac  to  defend  his  country. 

Stratagem  was  frequently  resorted  to  by  Pontiac,  in  order  to 
obtain  possession  of  the  commanders  of  the  forts,  and  then 
destroy  the  soldiers  and  inhabitants.  At  Miami,  on  the  Mau- 
mee  River,  a  squaw  enticed  the  captain  of  the  fort  off  two  hun- 
dred yards  to  a  man  dying,  as  she  represented.  Thereby  the 
captain  was  led  into  an  Indian  ambuscade  and  killed.  The 
rest  of  the  garrison  all  perished  under  the  tomahawk  of  the 


A  British  trader,  Alexander  Henry,  was  present  at  the 
massacre  of  the  whole  fort  at  Mackinac,  and  relates  a  most 
horrid  scene  of  this  butchery,  where  seventy  persons  were  slain 
and  scalped. 

The  Indians  acted  with  great  cunning  and  sagacity  in  get- 
ting possession  of  this  fort.  It  was  a  strong  and  important  gar- 
rison. It  was  in  the  heart  of  the  Indian  country,  and  was  much 
dreaded  by  them.  It  was  provided  with  cannon,  and  impreg- 
nable to  an  Indian  enemy  without  sagacious  management. 

The  Indians  pretended  a  great  game  of  ball,  called  bagga- 
toiua,  to  celebrate  the  birthday  of  the  British  king.  They  bet 
high  and  played  with  great  excitement;  so  that  many  of  the 
soldiers  and  officers  of  the  garrison  were  out  of  the  fort  to  look 
on,  as  the  game  commenced  on  a  beautiful  plain  outside  of  the 
fort;  but  in  the  excitement  of  the  game,  the  ball,  as  if  by  acci- 
dent, was  thrown  over  the  walls  of  the  fort,  and  vast  crowds  of 
Indians  entered  it  in  search  of  the  ball.  They  had  weapons 
concealed,  and  the  garrison  was  destroyed.  The  French  were 
spared.  About  four  hundred  warriors  were  engaged  in  this 

The  posts  of  Mackinac,  St.  Joseph,  and  Presque  Isle  were 
captured  with  the  general  slaughter  of  the  garrisons.  Presque 
Isle  held  out  for  two  days,  and  at  last  was  taken  and  destroyed. 

A  squaw  divulged  the  plan  to  capture  Detroit,  which  put 
Maj.  Gladwyn  the  commander  on  his  guard.  This  post  being 
the  most  important;  containing  vast  stores  of  Indian  goods, 
Pontiac  in  person  conducted  the  operations  against  it. 

His  plan  was  to  gain  the  interior  of  the  fort  in  friendship, 
and  then  kill  all  within.  He  pretended  to  the  commander  of 
the  fort  that  the  Indians  desired  to  "take  their  new  father,  the 
King  of  England,  by  the  hand."  And  that  a  council  was  to  be 
held  the  next  morning,  but  during  the  night  the  squaw  apprised 
Gladwyn  of  the  scheme. 

The  commandant  had  his  garrison  prepared  and  well  armed 
to  receive  Pontiac  and  his  red  warriors,  the  next  morning. 

Pontiac,  when  he  entered  the  fort,  enquired  "why  all  this 
military  display;"  the  commander  answered  "it  was  to  keep 
his  young  men  from  being  idle."  About  this  time,  Gladwyn 
raised  the  blanket  of  Pontiac  and  saw  he  was  armed  with  a 


short  gun.  The  Indians  had  provided  themselves  with  short 
guns  and  concealed  them  under  their  blankets. 

The  officer  ordered  them  out  of  the  garrison,  and  on  the 
Indians  retiring  they  yelled  and  fired  their  guns,  but  to  no 
effect.  They  murdered  several  persons  outside  the  fort,  and 
besieged  the  garrison  for  several  months,  until  it  was  relieved 
from  Montreal.  The  fort  contained  122  men. 

Fort  Pitt  was  attacked,  and  besieged  for  a  long  time,  until 
Bouquet  with  300  men  gave  them  relief.  The  posts  of  Detroit, 
Niagara,  and  Pitt  were  successfully  defended,  and  retained  by 
the  whites,  but  the  balance  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  savages. 
At  the  fall  of  these  forts  the  frontiers  of  Pennsylvania  and  Vir- 
ginia were  forced  back  over  the  mountains,  the  Virginians  over 
the  Blue  Ridge.  More  than  twenty  thousand  in  Virginia  fell 
back  on  the  old  settlement.  Horrid  massacres  were  the  com- 
mon practices  on  the  frontiers  from  Carolina  to  Montreal. 
The  Indians  remained  active  in  the  war  during  the  summer  of 
1763,  until  fall,  when  the  savages  were  compelled  to  retire  for 
the  want  of  provisions.  ' 

Pontiac,  failing  to  take  all  the  forts,  was  discontented  and 
desponding.  Me  retired  to  the  far  West.  The  British,  knowing 
his  power  amongst  the  Indians,  bribed  a  savage  to  murder  him 
in  the  streets  of  Cahokia.  Thus  fell  one  of  the  greatest  men 
nature  ever  formed.  His  dust  is  now  reposing  in  peace,  near 
the  old  and  deserted  village  of  Cahokia,  "but  yesterday  the 
word  of  Caesar  might  have  stood  against  the  world;  now  he 
lies  there,  and  none  so  poor  as  to  do  him  reverence."  The 
northern  Indians  held  Pontiac  in  the  greatest  estimation. 
They  knew  their  loss  was  irreparable.  The  murder  of  Pontiac 
so  enraged  them,  that  they  almost  exterminated  the  whole 
Illinois  Indians,  whose  tribe  participated  in  this  horrid  murder 
of  their  friend  and  protector,  the  great  Pontiac. 

In  the  year  1765,  Col.  George  Croghan,  a  commissioner,  was 
sent  out  West  to  conciliate  the  Indians,  after  the  cession  of  the 
country  to  the  British.  He  descended  the  Ohio  River,  and 
was  at  the  falls  of  the  Ohio  on  the  ist  June,  1765.  The  party 
came  to  the  mouth  of  the  Wabash,  where  they  discovered  some 
Indian  fortifications.  They  still  descended  to  an  old  Shawnee 
village,  the  same  that  retains  the  name  of  Shawneeto\vn,  in 


Gallatin  County,  on  the  north  bank  of  the  Ohio  Riyer.  Col. 
Croghan  and  party  remained  there  six  days,  making  friendly 
arrangements  with  the  Wabash  Indians. 

On  the  8th  of  June,  they  were  attacked  by  eighty  warriors, 
mostly  of  the  Kickapoo  and  Mascouten  tribes,  and  many  of  the 
whites  were  killed  and  more  wounded;  and  all  made  prisoners. 

The  party  from  this  point  went  to  Vincennes,  by  land,  where 
they  found  eighty  or  ninety  French  families.  From  the  Shaw- 
nee  village,  Col.  Croghan  sent  messengers  to  Lord  Frazier,  who 
had  been  sent  to  Fort  Chartres;  and  also  dispatches  were  for- 
warded to  Saint  Ange  at  the  same  fort.  After  remaining  at 
Vincennes  several  days,  Col.  Croghan  went  up  the  Wabash  210 
miles,  to  Ouiatenon,  the  Weas  Town,  as  the  Americans  called 
it,  and  on  by  the  Miami  post  to  Detroit,  where  they  arrived  on 
the  17th  August.  At  Ouiatenon  there  were  fourteen  families 
and  at  Detroit  about  eighty  houses  of  all  sorts. 

On  the  27th  February,  1764,  Major  Loftus,  a  British  officer, 
who  was  stationed  at  Bayou  Manchac,  on  the  Mississippi,  was 
despatched  with  400  men  to  Fort  Chartres,  to  take  possession 
of  the  fort  and  country  in  the  name  of  his  government.  But 
as  he  ascended  the  Mississippi,  at  a  place  now  known  as  Loftus 
Heights,  or  Fort  Adams,  the  Tunaca  Indians  killed  many  of 
his  party;  so  that  the  balance  returned  down  the  river. 

The  defeat  of  Loftus  and  party  delayed  the  British  from  the 
occupation  of  the  country  until  Capt.  Stirling  assumed  the  com- 
mand from  the  benevolent  Saint  Ange.  A  short  time  after 
Capt.  Stirling  took  possession  of  the  country,  he  died,  and 
Saint  Ange  considered  it  his  duty  to  return  from  St.  Louis  to 
Fort  Chartres,  and  take  command,  as  he  had  under  the  French 

It  is  stated  that  the  first  Anglo-American  settlement  that 
was  made  on  the  Mississippi,  was  in  the  year  1764,  by  Ameri- 
cans from  Roanoak,  North  Carolina.  They  settled  on  the 
highland  north  of  Iberville  Bayou,  and  thence  northwardly 
toward  Baton  Rouge. 

The  remoteness  of  Illinois  from  the  British  colonies — the 
hatred  of  the  French  and  Indians  to  the  Long  -Knives  and  the 
Bostonians,  and  weakness  of  the  settlement;  that  very  few 
Americans  or  British,  visited  the  country  during  the  govern- 


ment  of  the  British.  Scarcely  another  man  was  seen  of  the 
British,  except  the  British  troops,  in  any  part  of  Illinois,  until 
the  Americans  under  Col.  Clark  took  it  in  1778. 

The  British,  in  the  year  1769,  erected,  on  the  Wabash  River, 
a  fort,  which  was  called  Sackville.  This  fort  was  a  short  dis- 
tance below  Vincennes,  and  was  a  regular  stockade  fort,  with 
bastions,  and  a  few  pieces  of  cannon,  under  the  command  of 
an  officer  and  soldiers. 

In  1756,  as  has  already  been  stated,  Fort  Chartres  was 
repaired  and  improved,  by  the  French,  to  guard  the  country 
against  the  invasion  of  the  British.  It  was  believed  that  this 
fort  was  the  most  "convenient  and  best  in  North  America." 
In  this  year  (1756),  it  stood  half  a  mile  from  the  bank  of  the 
river.  In  1766  it  was  only  eighty  yards.  The  bank  of  the  river 
next  it  was  continually  wearing  away.  In  the  year  1770,  the 
river  made  further  encroachments,  and  in  1772,  the  river  inun- 
dated the  American  Bottom,  and  washed  away  one  of  the  side 
walls  of  the  fort. 

At  this  time,  the  British  garrison  abandoned  it,  and  moved 
the  seat  of  government  to  Kaskaskia.  Fort  Chartres  has  never 
been  occupied  since.  It  is  stated  in  1820,  that  "at  the  south- 
east angle  there  is  a  gate,  and  the  wall  is  perfect.  It  is  about 
fifteen  feet  high,  and  three  feet  thick.  There  is  also  a  large 
gate  eighteen  feet  wide." 

After  the  year  1772,  the  British  garrison  occupied  Fort  Gage, 
which  stood  on  the  Kaskaskia  River  bluffs  opposite  the  village; 
this  fort  continued  the  headquarters  of  the  British  while  they 
possessed  the  country. 

Fort  Gage  was  built  of  large  square  timbers,  and  was  an 
oblong,  measuring  290  by  251  feet. 

There  were  in  this  fort,  in  the  year  1772,  an  officer  and  twenty 
soldiers.  In  the  village  of  Kaskaskia,  there  were  two  French 
companies  organized,  and  in  good  discipline,  ready  to  march 
at  a  moment's  warning. 

At  the  time  the  British  troops  came  to  take  possession  of 
Fort  Chartres,  two  young  officers,  one  French  and  the  other 
British,  had  a  misunderstanding  at  the  fort.  This  quarrel  arose, 
as  did  the  war  of  the  Greeks  against  the  Trojans,  on  account 
of  a  lady.  These  officers  fought  with  small  swords,  early  on  a 


Sunday  morning,  near  the  fort,  and  in  this  combat  one  was 
killed.  The  other  left  the  fort,  and  descended  the  river.  I 
was  informed  of  the  above  duel  nearly  fifty  years  ago,  by  a 
very  aged  Frenchman.  He  informed  me  of  the  details,  and 
said,  he  was  present  and  saw  the  combat.  This  duel  was,  no 
doubt,  the  first  fought  in  Illinois.  That  barbarous,  anti-chris- 
tian  mode  of  settling  controversies  has  never  been  much  prac- 
tised in  this  country.  Public  opinion,  which  is  the  certain  cor- 
rector, has  been  always  strong  against  it.  And  the  last  Con- 
stitution of  Illinois,  eminating  from  an  enlighted  public  opinion, 
has  placed  a  positive  veto  against  the  practice  forever. 

When  the  British  took  possession  of  Illinois,  many  of  the 
first  inhabitants,  as  was  before  stated,  emigrated  to  Louisiana, 
which  was  nothing  more  than  to  cross  the  Mississippi. 

On  the  3d  Nov.,  1762,  France  made  a  secret  treaty  with 
Spain,  by  which  Louisiana  was  ceded  to  Spain;  but  it  was  not 
made  known  before  April  21,  1764.  About  this  time,  and 
before  the  treaty  was  known,  the  villages  of  St.  Louis  and  Ste. 
Genevieve  made  their  appearance  on  the  west  side  of  the  Mis- 

The  French  are  always  celebrated  for  giving  persons  and 
places  nicknames  suitable  to  the  occasion.  St.  Louis  was  called 
Pain  Court—  Short  Bread;  Carondelet,  Vide  Pouche—  Empty 
Pocket;  Ste.  Genevieve,  Missier—  Misery.  These  names  were 
the  only  ones  for  many  years  by  which  these  places  were  known 
and  called.  It  was  not  until  after  the  cession  of  Louisiana  to 
the  United  States,  in  1803,  that  St.  Louis,  in  common  parlance 
was  known  by  any  other  name  than  Pain  Court.  The  same  of 
Ste.  Genevieve;  and  it  was  not  long  since  that  Vide  Poiichc 
lost  its  cognomen,  and  assumed  its  present  city-name  of  Car- 
ondelet. St.  Charles,  in  Missouri,  was  known  as  Petite  Cote. 

In  the  year  1766,  a  plantation  of  the  Jesuits,  near  Old  Kas- 
kaskia,  containing  two  hundred  and  forty  arpents  of  cultivated 
land,  a  very  good  stock  of  cattle,  and  a  brewery,  was  sold  by 
the  French  government  to  Monsieur  Beauvois.  This  property 
was  taken  by  the  French  government  when  the  order  of 
Jesuits  was  suppressed.  Monsieur  Beauvois  was  a  wealthy  cit- 
izen of  that  day.  He  had  eighty  slaves  and  furnished  eighty- 
six  thousand  pounds  of  flour  to  the  king's  store;  and  this  was 
not  near  all  his  harvest  of  one  year. 



Illinois  under  the  Government  of  Virginia. 

THE  first  part  of  the  American  Revolution  was  not  much 
perceived  in  Illinois.  The  country  was  so  remote  from  the 
Atlantic  States,  and  peaceably  yielding  to  British  authority, 
that  nothing  transpired  in  Illinois  during  the  first  years  of  the 
Revolution  that  can  be  interesting  to  narrate.  The  inhabitants 
continued  in  their  usual  avocations,  during  the  first  years  of 
the  struggle.  But,  in  the  year  1778,  Illinois  was  visited  by  a 
small  army  of  the  most  valiant  and  courageous  heroes  that,  per- 
haps, ever  invaded  and  captured  any  country. 

I  do  not  believe  that  history  presents  a  parallel  of  such  extra- 
ordinary invasion  and  conquest  of  a  country,  of  such  vast 
extent  and  importance,  as  was  the  result  of  Col.  Clark's  expe- 
dition into  Illinois,  in  the  year  1778.  This  invasion  was  con- 
ducted to  an  honorable  and  successful  termination,  without  the 
loss  of  lives,  and  almost  without  means  or  men. 

George  Rogers  Clark  was  born  in  the  Old  Dominion,  Albe- 
marle  County,  iQth  Nov.,  1752.  In  his  youth,  like  Washington, 
he  was  employed  in  surveying  land. 

Col.  Clark  was  in  the  West,  on  the  upper  Ohio,  in  the  year 
1773,  and  was  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  murder  of  Logan's 
family  in  1774,  but  not  concerned  in  that  bloody  transaction. 
He  was  a  staff- officer  in  Governor  Dunmore's  war  with  the 
Indians,  in  the  campaign  to  the  Scioto,  and  reached  Kentucky 
in  the  next  year — 1775. 

From  the  year  1774,  and  after  the  murder  of  Logan's  family, 
a  murderous  Indian  war  raged  throughout  all  the  West.  This 
war  extended  from  the  western  frontiers  of  Georgia  to  Canada. 
It  was  not  alone  the  massacre  of  Logan's  family  that  caused 
the  war.  It  mainly  was  attributable  to  British  influence, 
together  with  the  encroachments  of  the  Americans,  on  the 
Indian  country.  The  settlements  of  Virginia,  Pennsylvania, 
and  the  other  Atlantic  States,  were  rapidly  extending  west. 



Boone  and  others  discovered  Kentucky,  and  were  locating 
themselves  in  it  as  early  as  the  year  1774. 

The  Revolutionary  War  was  discerned  and  feared  by  Dun- 
more  in  his  campaign  to  the  Scioto.  It  was  believed  by  Wash- 
ington, Marshall,  and  others,  that  instructions  were  sent  to  Dun- 
more,  when  he  was  on  his  march  west  of  the  Ohio  River,  to 
treat  with  the  Indians,  and  leave  them  as  friendly  as  possible. 
It  may  be  said  that  this  was  the  first  spark  of  the  Revolutionary 
War  which  was  discovered  in  the  movements  of  Dunmore  and 
the  last  was  extinguished  by  Gen.  Wayne,  also  in  the  West,  at 
the  Greenville  treaty  in  the  year  1795.  The  commencement 
and  the  termination  of  the  American  contest  for  freedom  was 
in  the  West;  and  the  Godess  of  Liberty  has  raised  her  stand- 
ard higher  and  it  shines  with  more  splendor  in  the  valley  of 
the  Mississippi  than  in  any  other  section  of  the  globe. 

It  was  quite  reasonable  that  the  British  authorities  in  Amer- 
ica should  discover  symptoms  of  revolt  in  the  colonies  at  this 
time.  It  was  on  the  5th  Sept.,  1774,  that  the  first  Continental 
Congress  convened  at  Philadelphia,  and  it  was  on  the  i6th 
Dec.,  of  the  previous  year,  that  the  tea  was  destroyed  in  the 
harbor  of  Boston.  In  the  next  year  occurred  the  battle  of 
Lexington  and  other  movements  for  liberty  in  the  old  Bay 
State.  It  is  not  strange,  therefore,  that  Dunmore  was  easing 
off  from  the  troops  of  the  colonies  and  making  fair  weather 
with  the  Indians  of  the  West. 

For  nineteen  years  this  Indian  war  was  prosecuted  with  the 
utmost  rancor  and  with  bloody  vengeance  against  all  the  west- 
ern frontiers  of  the  United  States.  Old  people,  now  alive,  well 
recollect  the  indiscriminate  slaughter  of  all  classes  of  people 
on  the  frontiers.  The  Cherokees,  the  Shawnees,  and  other 
hostile  Indians,  were  dreaded  around  the  frontiers,  in  olden 
times,  as  much  as  the  Asiatic  cholera  is  at  this  day.  There 
was  scarcely  a  family  in  the  West  but  could  mourn  the  loss  of 
some  of  its  number.  And  many  times  the  evenings  were  spent 
in  narrating  the  horrid  tales  of  the  slaughter  of  women  and 
children  as  well  as  of  their  fathers  and  husbands. 

Altho'  this  frontier  life  exposed  the  people  to  many  hard- 
ships, dangers,  and  deaths  that  were  not  known  in  the  interior 
settlements;  yet  it  had  its  peculiar  advantages.  This  border 


life  produced  a  most  hardy,  energetic,  and  daring  race  of  men 
whose  characters  were  peculiar  to  themselves.  They  were 
raised  in  such  a  dangerous  and  hazardous  condition  of  the 
country  that  every  latent  spark  of  talent  and  energy  was  elicited 
and  brought  into  active  employment.  For  many  years  in  the 
West,  danger  of  the  Indians  was  ever,  night  and  day,  pressing 
on  the  frontier  settlers.  Those  persons  who  could  not  with- 
stand these  incessant  shocks  of  Indian  warfare  retired  to  the 
interior  of  the  country  and  left  those  on  the  frontiers  who  dis- 
regarded danger  and  death. 

Together  with  these  dangers  and  hardships  of  Indian  wars 
the  frontiers  had  many  other  disadvantages  and  privations  to 
encounter.  In  all  new  countries  the  people  have  not  the  nec- 
essaries or  the  ordinary  means  of  comfortable  living  that  they 
enjoy  in  an  old  country.  No  schools,  no  churches,  no  mills,  and 
no  courts  were  the  common  destitutions  of  the  new  settlements; 
but  when  the  horrors  of  an  Indian  war  are  added,  it  is  then 
that  the  people,  to  sustain  themselves  against  all  these  united 
calamities,  become  the  most  courageous  and  energetic  of  the 
human  family.  This  mode  of  life  also  developes  their  mental 
faculties.  Their  education  was  not  acquired  in  schools  or  in 
colleges  but  it  was  forced  on  them  by  passing  events.  The 
minds  of  the  pioneers  were  developed  and  improved  by  the 
force  of  circumstances  which  they  could  pot  control. 

This  primitive  race  of  men  was  also  the  most  independent 
and  self-sustaining  people  on  earth.  They  relied  on  their  own 
resources,  in  all  emergencies,  and  by  which  they  generally  sus- 
tained themselves.  They  were  for  the  most  part  at  remote- 
distances,  out  of  the  reach  of  relief,  and  were  compelled  to 
rely  on  themselves  for  support,  and  by  this  mode  of  life  they 
obtained  a  character  for  freedom  and  independence  that  people 
raised  under  different  circumstances  can  never  attain. 

In  this  kind  of  life,  under  all  these  circumstances  of  a  new 
country,  in  a  bloody  war  with  the  Indians,  the  character  of 
George  Rogers  Clark  was  formed.  He  was  the  noble  and  tal- 
ented representative  of  this  class  of  men.  He  possessed  a 
great  and  comprehensive  mind.  It  was  moulded  on  the  gigan- 
tic order,  not  capable  of  embracing*  both  extended  views  of 
policy  and  various  military  combinations.  His  mode  of  life 


being  in  constant  hostile  array  against  the  Indians,  gave  him 
a  perfect  knowledge  of  their  character;  and  also,  the  want  of 
sufficient  military  force  to  contend  with  them,  compelled  him 
to  resort  to  stratagem,  the  ruse  de  guerre,  as  well  as  to  open  dar- 
ing and  bravery.  It  is  not  common  for  commanders  to  excel 
in  both  these  modes  of  warfare.  But  such  was  the  character 
of  Col.  Clark  that  he  excelled  in  both. 

Such  are  some  of  the  traits  of  this  extraordinary  character 
who,  almost  without  troops  and  without  any  support  from  the 
government,  conquered  and  retained  the  Illinois  country 
against  the  combined  forces  of  the  British  and  their  Indian 

At  this  time,  in  the  beginning  of  the  Revolution,  two  char- 
acters, Simon  Kenton  and  Simon  Girty,  arose  in  the  West 
whose  celebrity  was  extended  throughout  the  country. 

Simon  Girty  was  a  native  of  Pennsylvania  and  of  Irish 
extraction.  He  was  a  spy  in  the  campaign  to  the  Scioto  coun- 
try under  Lord  Dunmore  in  1774  and  was  a  companion  of 
Simon  Kenton.  In  1755,  the  home  of  Simon  Girty,  who  lived 
with  his  father,  was  attacked  and  burnt  by  the  Indians.  His 
stepfather,  some  years  after,  was  burnt  at  the  stake,  in  the 
presence  of  his  family;  the  rest  of  the  family  were  taken  pris- 
oners. Simon  was  adopted  by  the  Seneca  Indians  and  became 
an  expert  hunter.  He  returned  and  resided  in  western  Penn- 
sylvania. In  the  Revolution,  he  joined  the  Tory  side  and 
resided  among  the  hostile  Indians.  He  commanded  on  many 
occasions  the  war  parties  of  the  Indians  and  became  a  terror  to 
the  frontiers.  He  witnessed  the  burning  of  Col.  Crawford  and 
made  some  effort  to  save  his  life.  He  saved  the  life  of  Simon 
Kenton  when  he  was  tied  to  the  stake  to  be  burnt;  they  had 
shared  the  same  blanket  together  in  Dunmore's  war.  He 
resided  at  Sandusky  at  which  place  he  had  a  store.  He  enter- 
tained, all  his  life,  a  bitter  hatred  to  the  United  States  and  a 
corresponding  friendship  to  the  British  and  Indians.  He  was 
in  Proctor's  army  in  1813,  and  was  killed  by  Col.  Johnson's 
men  at  the  Thames.  He  was  intemperate  and  when  intoxi- 
cated was  savage  to  friend  and  foe. 

As  it  was  said,  Kenton  was  a  ranger  and  spy  in  Dunmore's 
war  and  came  down  the  Ohio  River  in  a  canoe  with  two  other 


men  to  the  place  on  the  Ohio  where  Augusta  now  stands.  He 
was  tall,  robust,  and  athletic,  and  a  man  of  great  energy  of 
-character.  He  spent  one  season  hunting  on  the  Licking  River; 
he  was  taken  by  the  Indians  and  sentenced  to  be  burnt.  He 
was  tied  to  the  stake  and  the  fire  was  burning  around  him. 
His  old  comrade,  Simon  Girty,  saved  him  from  the  fury  of  the 
Indians.  Simon  Kenton  was  with  Col.  Clark  in  the  campaign 
of  1778  to  Kaskaskia  and  headed  a  party  on  the  night  of  the 
4th  July  of  that  year  who  entered  Fort  Gage  and  captured 
Lieut.-Governor  Rocheblave  in  his  bed. 

After  the  conquest  of  Kaskaskia,  Col.  Clark  sent  Kenton 
with  despatches  to  the  "Falls,"  and  to  pass  by  Vincennes  in  his 
route.  Kenton  lay  concealed  during  the  days,  for  three  days, 
.and  reconnoitered  the  village  of  Vincennes  during  the  nights. 
He  acquitted  himself  as  usual  in  this  service  to  the  satisfac- 
tion of  his  general.  He  employed  a  trusty  messenger  to  con- 
vey the  intelligence  of  the  feelings,  numbers,  etc.,  of  the  people 
of  Vincennes  to  Col.  Clark  at  Kaskaskia. 

Simon  Kenton  served  under  General  Wayne  in  the  Indian 
war,  which  was  closed  at  the  treaty  of  Greenville  in  1795.  He 
ended  his  days  in  the  State  of  Ohio  not  long  since,  full  of  years, 
and  what  is  better,  his  heart  full  of  Christian  piety. 

These  two  singular  characters  were  a  good  deal  similar,  each 
possessing  an  extraordinary  degree  of  energy  and  decision  of 
character.  Each  one  honest  in  his  professions  and  attachments. 
They  espoused  different  sides  in  the  Revolutionary  contest,  but 
were  always  friends  as  to  personal  feelings. 

The  enemies  of  Girty  give  him  a  horrid  character;  and,  per- 
haps, if  we  were  to  see  the  British  and  Indian  history  of  Ken- 
ton's  character,  some  specks  might  appear  not  so  angelic.  The 
different  society  they  kept  might  have  produced  some  effect  to 
make  one  blood-thirsty,  while  the  other,  by  the  influence  of  cor- 
rect and  proper  principles,  became  humane  and  merciful. 

They  both,  like  the  lesser  prophets,  became  conspicuous  in 
a  small  way,  and  both,  after  a  very  long  and  active  life,  are  now 
resting  in  peace. 

Col.  Clark  was  appointed  to  drill  and  organize  the  militia  at 
Harrod's  Station,  and  at  Boonsboro',  in  Kentucky.  He  was 
then,  and  ever  afterward,  recognized  as  the  main  defender  of 
the  Western  frontiers. 


Late  in  the  fall  of  1775,  he  returned  to  Virginia,  and  prepared 
to  leave  in  the  early  spring  for  Kentucky,  to  make  the  West  his 
permanent  residence. 

During  this  year,  a  great  meeting  was  held  at  Harrodsburg, 
to  take  into  consideration  the  political  situation  of  Kentucky;, 
and  at  this  convention  Major  Clark,  so  called  at  that  day,  and 
Gabriel  John  Jones  were  appointed  delegates  to  the  general 
assembly  of  Virginia.  These  members  of  the  Virginia  legisla- 
ture crossed  the  mountains  at  the  Cumberland  Gap,  and  suf- 
fered much  with  scald  feet  in  walking  to  the  seat  of  govern- 
ment of  the  Ancient  Dominion. 

When  they  arrived  at  the  capital,  the  general  assembly  had 
adjourned;  but  Clark  and  Jones  waited  on  Governor  Patrick 
Henry,  and  urged  on  him  the  necessity  of  furnishing  the  frontier 
with  a  supply  of  powder;  and  also  strongly  pressed  the  necessity 
of  a  new  county.  After  much  difficulty,  a  supply  of  powder  was 
granted  to  be  received  at  Pittsburg,  and  on  the  7th  Dec.,  1776} 
a  county  was  organized,  and  called  Kentucky.  The  powder 
being  at  Pittsburg,  Clark  and  Jones  were  compelled  to  pass 
there,  on  their  route  to  Kentucky,  and  conveyed  the  precious 
article  down  the  Ohio  to  the  creek  called  Limestone,  where 
Maysville  is  now  built.  There  they  concealed  the  powder,  and 
sent  adrift  their  boat;  so  that  the  Indians  might  not  discover 
them  or  the  powder.  On  their  way  to  Harrodsburg,  they  heard 
of  Col.  Todd  being  in  the  vicinity  with  some  troops,  and  Jones, 
with  five  of  the  boatmen,  remained  with  Todd,  to  return  and 
convey  the  powder  to  the  settlements,  while  Clark  and  the  other 
two  men  went  direct  to  the  station. 

Todd  and  party  were  defeated  .near  the  Blue  Licks,  on  the 
25th  Dec.,  by  the  Indians,  who  were  in  ambuscade,  on  the  trail 
of  Clark  and  Jones.  Jones  and  two  others  were  killed,  but 
Clark  and  his  men  reached  Harrodsburg  in  safety,  and  the 
powder  at  last  reached  the  station. 

Clark,  altho'  only  25  years  of  age,  had  learned,  in  the  school 
of  Indian  danger  and  peril,  so  much,  that  his  education  was 
complete  in  Indian  warfare.  His  mind,  naturally  strong  and  vig- 
orous, comprehended  at  once  the  condition  of  the  West,  and  was 
determined  to  give  it  relief. 

The  British  posts  of  Detroit,  Vincennes,  and  Kaskaskia,  were 


stations  for  the  hostile  Indians,  where  the  British  government 
furnished  them  with  all  the  necessary  means  to  murder  the 
exposed  frontier  inhabitants,  and  paid  them  in  gold  for  the 
scalps  of  men,  women,  and  children. 

On  the  first  of  October,  Clark  left  Harrodsburg  for  the  seat 
of  government  of  Virginia. 

After  much  delay  and  caution,  the  government  of  Virginia, 
on  the  2d  January,  1778,  decided  to  appoint  Clark  lieut. -colonel, 
to  take  command  of  such  forces  as  could  be  raised,  to  conquer 
the  British  garrisons  in  the  West. 

Altho'  the  Illinois  country  was  remote  from  the  seat  of  the 
Revolutionary  War,  yet  the  inhabitants  knew  of  its  existence, 
and  were,  in  their  hearts,  unfriendly  to  the  British,  and  warmly 
attached  to  the  American  cause.  This  being  the  case,  the 
French  people  were  ready,  on  all  favorable  occasions,  to  engage 
in  any  expedition  against  their  ancient  enemy — the  British. 

Thomas  Brady,  commonly  called  Mr.  Tom,  resided  in  Caho- 
kia  in  the  year  1777,  and  was  a  man  of  sound  mind  and  an 
enterprising  and  courageous  disposition.  In  his  youthful  days 
he  had  been  much  inured  to  Indian  warfare,  and  had  been  long 
in  the  midst  of  the  dangers  and  adventures  of  a  Western  life. 
His  neighbors,  the  French  of  Cahokia  and  Prairie  du  Pont,  were 
ready  at  a  moment's  warning  to  enter  into  any  enterprise,  mili- 
tary or  civil,  that  was  honorable,  and  had  no  work  attached  to 
it.  And,  altho'  the  Illinois  French  were  not  ambitious  or  enter- 
prising in  individual  capacities,  yet  no  people  made  better  sol- 
diers. They  were  obedient  to  orders,  never  murmured,  and  pos- 
sessed the  inherent  courage  of  their  nation,  to  face  danger  and 
death,  in  all  its  horrors,  on  a  battle-field,  without  the  least  trepi- 

Thomas  Brady  organized  a  band  of  sixteen  volunteers,  from 
the  villages  of  Cahokia  and  Prairie  du  Pont,  and  on  the  first  of 
October,  1777,  set  out  to  capture  a  British  post  at  St.  Joseph, 
on  the  southeast  side  of  Lake  Michigan.  This  party  marched 
thro'  the  prairies  from  Cahokia  to  the  Cow  Pens, — so  called 
at  that  day — which  is  the  same  place  that  LaSalle  first  estab- 
lished a  post,  in  1679,  and  called  it  St.  Joseph. 

Brady  and  party  were  successful  in  capturing  the  post,  con- 
taining twenty-one  soldiers  and  a  considerable  quantity  of  Indian 


goods.  Only  one  person  was  killed.  This  was  a  negro  slave, 
who  had  run  off  to  the  Indians  from  the  settlements  on  the  Mis- 
sissippi. He  left  the  fort  when  it  was  attacked,  and  was  shot. 
The  victorious  party  packed  up  the  merchandise  and  started  for 
Cahokia;  but  they  moved  slow,  and  were  overtaken  at  the  Cal- 
umet, a  few  miles  southeast  of  Chicago.  The  British  traders 
roused  the  Indians  and  the  British  soldiers  into  action.  Several 
hundred  Indians  fell  on  the  party  when  they  were  camped  for 
the  night  on  the  Calumet.  Two  men  were  killed,  two  wounded, 
and  one  made  his  escape;  twelve  were  made  prisoners  and  sent 
to  Canada.  Brady  was  with  the  prisoners,  but  escaped,  and 
returned  to  Illinois  by  the  way  of  his  native  state,  Pennsylvania. 
These:  prisoners  remained  in  Canada  two  years.  A  Mr.  Bois- 
menue  of  Cahokia  was  one  of  the  party,  and  was  wounded. 
He  remained  with  the  Indians  all  winter,  to  heal  his  wounds, 
and  returned  to  Cahokia  in  the  spring. 

It  is  stated  of  Mr.  Boismenue,  that  when  he  saw  these  two 
Cahokias  tomahawked  by  the  Indians,  he  supposed  it  would  be 
his  fate  next  to  be  served  in  the  same  manner,  and  to  avoid 
the  sight  of  the  hatchet  sinking  into  his  brains,  he  was  sitting 
before  the  fire,  and  threw  a  blanket  over  his  head.  He  was 
saved ;  and  was  afterward  the  father  of  a  very  respectable  family, 
some  of  whom  are  yet  living  in  the  country. 

Mr.  Boismenue's  desire  not  to  know  the  time  of  his  death 
shows  the  wisdom  of  Providence  in  not  letting  his  creatures 
know  that  important  epoch.  Man  would  be  miserable  if  he 
knew  the  time  of  his  decease,  were  it  one  hundred  years  off. 

This  was  rather  a  wild  and  hazardous  expectation.  Seven- 
teen men  to  take  a  fort  of  twenty-one  regulars  with  arms  and 
other  means  of  defence,  required  masterly  skill  and  bravery. 
They  surprised  the  fort  at  night,  but  could  not  escape  with  any 
of  the  spoils,  which  was,  no  doubt,  one  great  object  of  the  enter- 
prise. But  Col.  Clark  undertook  a  more  noble  enterprise,  to 
take  all  the  British  garrisons  in  the  West. 

Two  sets  of  instructions  were  given  to  him  by  the  governor 
and  council  of  Virginia.  One,  which  was  public,  was  for  Col. 
Clark  to  raise  seven  companies  for  the  protection  of  Kentucky, 
and  to  proceed  west.  These  men  were  enlisted  for  three  months. 
The  second  instructions  were,  that  Col.  Clark  should  raise  seven 


companies  of  men,  fifty  in  each  company,  and  proceed  to  Kas- 
kaskia  to  attack  the  British  garrison  at  that  place.  That  if  suc- 
cessful, to  take  and  preserve  the  cannon  and  munitions  of  war 
found  at  that  post.  That  boats  would  be  furnished  at  Pitts- 
burg  for  the  transportation  of  the  troops,  and  that  the  expedi- 
tion must  be  kept  a  profound  secret.  That  Gen.  Hand,  at  Pitts- 
burg,  would  supply  the  powder  and  lead.  The  inhabitants  of 
the  country  captured  were  to  take  the  oath  of  allegiance,  or 
otherwise  be  visited  with  the  miseries  of  war.  Two  men,  who 
were  from  Kaskaskia,  were  to  be  secured  at  Williamsburg,  for 
fear  of  their  developing  the  object  of  the  expedition.  In  their 
instructions  it  was  particularly  enjoined,  that  humanity  should 
be  observed  to  all  persons  who  might  fall  into  the  hands  of  the 
Virginia  troops.  The  Gov.  Patrick  Henry  signed  these  instruc- 
tions, which  were  dated  the  2d  of  January,  1778,  and  none  knew 
anything  about  them,  except  Gov.  Henry,  Thomas  Jefferson, 
George  Wythe,  and  George  Mason,  who  were  his  council,  and 
Col.  Clark. 

On  the  4th  of  February  following,  Col.  Clark  left  the  capital 
of  Virginia  for  Pittsburg.  It  was  decided  that  troops  could  not 
be  spared  on  the  east  of  the  mountains,  as  they  were  so  much 
needed  there,  but  must  be  raised  in  the  West. 

The  situation  of  Col.  Clark  can  be  easily  imagined.  He  was 
acting  under  immense  responsibility.  His  plan  was  adopted. 
His  instructions  were  secret,  and  the  whole  and  sole  manage- 
ment of  the  expedition  was  confined  to  his  judgment.  He  had 
received  but  twelve  hundred  pounds  of  depreciated  currency  to 
carry  out  the  expedition,  and  the  country  without  troops  or  even 
credit.  But  the  genius  and  talent  of  the  leader  supplied  all 
deficiencies,  and  the  British  posts  were  captured. 
'  Maj.  William  B.  Smith  was  ordered  from  Virginia  to  go  to  the 
Holston  country,  Tenn.,  to  raise  troops,  and  to  join  Clark  at  the 
appointed  time  and  place. 

He  succeeded  in  raising  four  companies,  but  never  joined 
Clark,  having  use  for  them  on  the  other  frontiers. 

It  was  unpopular  at  Pittsburg  to  enlist  men  to  take  them 
away  from  the  frontiers  of  Pennsylvania  to  Kentucky,  but  the 
character  of  Clark,  and  by  his  extraordinary  exertions,  three 
-companies  were  raised  at  Pittsburg.  With  these  companies, 


and  several  adventurers,  Col.  Clark  descended  the  Ohio  to  the 
Falls,  and  the  small  island  opposite  the  present  City  of  Louis- 
ville was  occupied  and  fortified.  This  island  was  then  called 
Corn  Island.  He  had  ordered  Capt.  Bowman  to  meet  him  at 
this  island.  Bowman  had  been  sent  on  a  southern  route  from 
Pittsburg  through  Kentucky  to  raise  a  company  of  men.  Capt. 
Bowman  and  a  company  from  Kentucky,  under  the  command 
of  Capt.  Dillard,  met  him  at  the  island. 

With  all  the  exertions  that  could  be  made,  Col.  Clark  could 
not  raise  more  than  four  companies  for  the  expedition.  These 
companies  were  commanded  by  Captains  Montgomery,  Bow- 
man, Helm,  and  Harrod.  Simon  Kenton  joined  the  expedition 
at  this  place  with  many  other  resolute  persons.  It  appears  that 
Captain  Montgomery  was  found  at  the  Falls,  being  an  "Irish- 
man and  full  of  fight."  It  was  on  Corn  Island  when  Col.  Clark 
announced  that  his  destination  was  to  Kaskaskia  in  the  Illinois 
country.  This  information  was  received  by  this  brave  band  of 
warriors  with  enthusiasm  and  joy.  But,  in  fact,  the  troops  under 
Clark  were  like  all  soldiers  under  great  leaders,  ready  to  go  any- 
where and  do  anything  in  their  power  commanded  by  their  gen- 

After  the  fainthearted  were  discharged,  all  the  troops  mus- 
tered into  the  campaign  to  Kaskaskia  were  one  hundred  and 
fifty-three  men. 

Keel-boats  being  procured,  Clark,  on  the  24th  June,  1/78, 
while  the  sun  was  eclipsed,  started  down  the  river  from  Corn 
Island  on  this  hazardous  expedition  to  Kaskaskia. 

They  descended  the  river  to  the  old  Cherokee  Fort,  or  Fort 
Massacre,  below  the  mouth  of  the  Tennessee  River,  and  forty 
miles  above  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio,  where  they  found  a  party 
of  hunters  from  Kaskaskia  commanded  by  John  Duff.  Clark 
learned  from  these  hunters  that  Lieut-Governor  Rocheblave,  a 
Canadian  Frenchman,  commanded  Fort  Gage  at  Kaskaskia  and 
the  country:  and  that  the  militia  were  organized  and  well  dis- 
ciplined: that  spies  were  out  to  give  information  if  the  Long 
Knives  came  into  the  country.  This  was  the  Indian  name  for 
the  Virginians,  and  the  New  England  people  were  called  Bos- 
tonians  by  the  French  and  Indians  of  that  day. 

Col.  Clark,  before  he  left  Corn  Island,  obtained  two  items  of 


information,  of  which  he  made  good  use.  One  was,  that  France 
had  joined  the  Americans  in  the  war  against  Great  Britain;  and 
the  other  was,  that  the  French  in  Illinois  were  made  to  believe 
by  the  British  that  the  "Long  Knives"  were  cannibals,  worse 
than  demons. 

Clark  secured  his  boats,  and  engaged  John  Saunders,  one  of 
Duff's  hunting-party,  to  be  his  guide  to  Kaskaskia.  The  whole 
hunting-party  were  willing  to  return  with  Clark,  but  he  took 
only  one  of  them. 

Clark's  warriors  had  no  wagons,  pack-horses,  or  other  means 
of  conveyance  of  their  munition  of  war  or  baggage,  other  than 
their  own  robust  and  hardy  selves.  Col.  Clark  himself  was 
nature's  favorite,  in  his  person  as  well  as  mind.  He  was  large 
and  athletic,  capable  of  enduring  much;  yet  formed  with  such 
noble  symmetry  and  manly  beauty,  that  he  combined  much 
grace  and  elegance,  together  with  great  firmness  of  character. 
He  was  grave  and  dignified  in  his  deportment;  agreeable  and 
affable  with  his  soldiers  when  relaxed  from  duty;  but  in  a  crisis 
— when  the  fate  of  his  campaign  was  at  stake,  or  the  lives  of  his 
brave  warriors  were  in  danger — his  deportment  became  stern  and 
•severe.  His  appearance,  in  these  perils,  indicated,  without  lan- 
guage, to  his  men,  that  every  soldier  must  do  his  duty. 

The  country  between  Fort'  Massacre  and  Kaskaskia,  at  that 
day,  1778,  was  a  wilderness  of  one  hundred  and  twenty  miles, 
and  contained,  much  of  it,  a  swampy  and  difficult  road. 

At  one  time,  poor  Saunders,  the  guide,  was  bewildered,  and 
the  party  suspected  him  of  treachery;  but  soon  after,  he  became 
himself  again  and  led  the  party  safe  to  the  vicinity  of  Kaskas- 
kia. Within  a  short  distance  of  the  village,  Col.  Clark  concealed 
his  men  until  dark,  and  spies  were  sent  out  to  reconnoitre  and 
report.  This  was  on  the  4th  of  July,  1778.  After  dark  he  pro- 
ceeded to  a  house  on  the  river— the  old  ferry-house — three- 
fourths  of  a  mile  above  the  village.  He  took  possession  of  this 
house,  and  there  made  the  following  disposition  of  his  troops: 
Two  parties  were  to  cross  the  Kaskaskia  River,  and  the  other 
was  to  remain  on  the  east  side,  so  as  to  capture  the  town  and 
fort  at  the  same  time.  The  fearless  Captain  Helm  commanded 
the  troops  to  cross  the  river,  and  take  the  village;  while  Clark 
himself  commanded  the  other  wing  to  capture  the  fort.  Boats 
and  canoes  were  procured  to  cross  the  river. 


About  midnight,  on  the  banks  of  the  Kaskaskia  River,  in  the 
dark,  Col.  Clark  delivered  a  short  address  to  his  troops.  He 

"Soldiers — We  are  near  the  enemy  for  which  we  have  been 
struggling  for  years.  We  are  not  fighting  alone  for  liberty  and 
independence,  but  for  the  defence  of  our  own  frontiers  from  the 
tomahawk  and  scalping-knife  of  the  Indians.  We  are  defending 
the  lives  of  our  women  and  children,  altho'  a  long  distance  from 
them.  These  British  garrisons  furnish  the  Indians  with  powder 
and  lead  to  desolate  the  frontiers;  and  pay  gold  for  human 
scalps.  We  must  take  and  destroy  these  garrisons.  The  fort 
before  us  is  one  of  them,  and  it  must  be  taken.  We  can  not 
retreat.  We  have  no  provisions;  but  we  must  conquer.  This 
is  the  4th  of  July.  We  must  act  to  honor  it,  and  let  it  not  be 
said  in  after-times,  that  Virginians  were  defeated  on  that  mem- 
orable day.  The  fort  and  town,  I  repeat,  must  be  taken,  at  all 

After  these  remarks  the  troops  in  silence  separated;  two  par- 
ties crossed  the  river,  and  the  other  remained  with  Col.  Clark, 
to  attack  the  fort.  Each  party  at  the  two  extremes  of  the  vil- 
lage, entered  it  first,  in  silence,  so  not  one  in  the  town  kne\v  of 
the  Long  Knives  being  in  the  country,  until  they  heard  the 
most  terriffic  yelling  and  hollowing  in  the  streets,  that  ever 
before,  or  since,  was  heard  in  Old  Kaskaskia.  The  French 
supposed  the  whole  nation  of  the  Long  Knives  had  broken  loose 
on  them  at  once.  Those  among  the  Americans,  who  could  speak 
French,  proclaimed  to  the  terrified  inhabitants,  that  if  they  re- 
mained quiet  within  their  houses,  they  would  not  be  hurt;  but 
if  they  came  out,  or  made  any  resistance,  they  would  be  exter- 
minated. The  inhabitants  were  much  alarmed.  The  inhabit- 
ants were  night  to  day  light.  In  two  hours  after  the  town  was 
first  entered  the  inhabitants  surrendered  all  their  guns  and 
means  of  defence,  thinking  this  was  the  only  means  to  save 
their  lives. 

In  the  daylight  the  citizens  were  not  the  less  terrified  at  the 
appearance  of  the  Long  Knives,  than  they  had  been  at  their 
noise.  The  troops  had  no  change  of  clothes.  All  their  supplies, 
provisions,  and  all,  they  were  compelled  to  pack  on  their  backs 
from  Fort  Massacre  to  Kaskaskia,  and  could  not  carry  with  them 


their  extra  clothes,  if  they  had  any,  and  that  was  doubtful. 
They  had  no  means  or  time  to  shave  or  dress.  They  possessed 
brave  hearts  under  ragged  and  soiled  clothes. 

Their  appearance  and  furious  noise  in  the  night  made  the 
French  believe  that  the  Long  Knives  would  almost  devour 

Col.  Clark  took  to  himself  the  most  perilous  enterprise,  to 
take  Fort  Gage,  which  was  a  strong  British  fortification,  defended 
with  cannon  and  regular  soldiers.  This  would  seem,  at  this  day, 
a  similar  perilous  enterprise  to  Wayne  storming  Stony  Point. 
Clark  had  no  cannon  or  means  of  assaulting  the  fort,  and  there- 
fore must  use  stratagem.  He  found  the  garrison  unprepared 
for  defence.  The  brave  and  sagacious  Simon  Kenton  com- 
manded a  detachment  to  enter  the  fort;  they  found  a  light 
burning  in  it.  An  American,  a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  was  there 
in  the  fort  and  conducted  Kenton  and  his  small  party  into  the 
fort  by  a  small  back  gate.  This  was  a  perilous  situation  for 
Kenton's  men,  to  be  housed  up  in  a  British  strong  fortification, 
if  the  gate  had  been  shut  on  them.  The  noble  Pennsylvania!! 
was  true  to  liberty  and  conducted  them  to  the  very  bedchamber 
of  the  sleeping  governor,  Rocheblave.  The  first  notice  Roche- 
blave  had  that  he  was  a  prisoner,  was  Kenton  tapping  him  on 
the  shoulder  to  awaken  him. 

Thus  the  fort  and  village  were  both  captured  without  shed- 
ding one  drop  of  blood.  The  wife  of  the  governor  concealed 
some  papers  which  were  supposed  to  be  public,  and  ought  to  be 
delivered  with  the  garrison  to  the  captors,  but  the  gentlemanly 
bearing  of  Col.  Clark  made  him  respect  female  prerogative,  and 
the  lady  secured  the  papers  in  that  adroit  manner  peculiar  to 
female  sagacity. 

Clark  had  now  possession  of  the  fort  and  cannon,  which  com- 
manded Kaskaskia,  and  could  at  his  ease  have  coerced  the 
inhabitants  into  submission,  if  it  became  necessary. 

The  conquest  of  Fort  Gage  and  Kaskaskia,  the  capital  of 
Illinois,  is  one  of  the  most  singular  and  important  events  recorded 
in  history.  It  was  the  extraordinary  genius  and  capacities  of 
Col.  Clark  that  achieved  it.  He  had  scarcely  any  men;  and  all 
their  armor,  provisions,  camp  equipage,  etc.,  were  packed  on 
their  backs,  to  the  scene  of  action;  and  this,  too,  to  take  a 


strong  garrison,  defended  with  cannon,  British  soldiers,  etc.  This 
may  be  taken  in  after-days  as  romance;  but  now  it  is  known  to 
be  reality. 

It  seems  Governor  Rocheblave  was  insolent.  Clark  put  him 
in  irons,  and  sent  him,  in  the  care  of  Capt.  Montgomery,  to 
Williamsburg,  the  capital  of  Virginia.  Clark  was  stern  and 
severe,  when  his  duty  required  it. 

The  next  day  after  the  conquest,  Col.  Clark  organized  the. 
post,  and  confined  some  suspected  persons.  His  actions  and 
appearance  among  the  inhabitants  of  Kaskaskia  were  on  pur- 
pose made  to  correspond  with  what  the  British  had  informed 
them ;  that  the  Americans  were  the  most  savage  beasts  on  earth, 
and  that  no  mercy  could  be  expected  at  their  hands,  were  they 
to  conquer  the  country.  Clark  withdrew  his  troops  from  the  vil- 
lage; observed  the  most  rigid  discipline;  and  appeared  to  be 
meditating  what  was  the  worst  mode  of  torture  and  death  to 
inflict  on  the  inhabitants  of  Kaskaskia.  This  deportment  of 
Clark  and  troops,  together  with  their  uncouth  and  savage  appear- 
ance, aroused  the  people  to  a  sense  of  their  danger  and  destruc- 
tion. Father  Gibault,  the  priest,  with  others  of  the  "grave  and 
reverend  seigniors,"  waited  on  Col.  Clark  at  his  camp,  and 
appealed  to  him  to  permit  them,  the  inhabitants,  to  meet  in  the 
church  once  more  before  they  were  destroyed,  or  remove  to  a 
foreign  land.  Clark  still  kept  up  the  appearance  of  annihilation 
in  his  deportment.  His  words  were  few,  and  scorched  like  they 
had  proceeded  from  a  fiery  furnace. 

When  Clark  had  the  people  of  Old  Kaskaskia  worked  up  to 
the  utmost  excitement  of  terror,  he  addressed  them  thus: 

"Do  you  mistake  us  for  savages?  Do  you  think  Americans 
will  strip  women  and  children,  and  take  the  bread  out  of  their 
mouths?  My  country  disdains  to  make  war  on  helpless  inno- 
cence. To  prevent  the  horrors  of  Indian  butchery  on  our  own 
wives  and  children,  we  have  taken  up  arms,  and  penetrated  to 
this  stronghold  of  Indian  and  British  barbarity,  and  not  for  des- 
picable plunder.  The  king  of  France  has  united  his  powerful 
arms  with  those  of  America,  and  the  contest  will  soon  be  ended. 
The  people  of  Kaskaskia  may  side  with  either  party.  To  verify 
my  words,  go  and  tell  your  people  to  do  as  they  please,  with- 
out any  danger  from  me." 


When  this  good  news  came  to  the  ears  of  the  people,  gloom 
and  dejection  changed  into  extravagant  joy.  The  people  were 
nearly  frantic,  and  entered  the  church  to  thank  God  for  their 
happy  deliverance.  Clark's  policy  had  its  desired  effect,  to 
make  the  people  his  steadfast  friends. 

Captain  Bowman  was  despatched  to  capture  the  post  of  Caho- 
kia,  and  several  influential  persons  of  Kaskaskia  volunteered 
their  services  to  prepare  the  minds  of  the  people  of  Cahokia  for 
the  change.  The  party,  mounted  on  French  ponies,  proceeded 
to  Cahokia,  and  seized  on  it  without  resistance.  This  expedi- 
tion was  conducted  with  the  same  celerity  and  secrecy  as  that 
to  capture  Kaskaskia.  In  fact,  there  were  not  many  soldiers  in 
the  fort  at  Cahokia;  so  that  a  defence  was  useless. 

Col.  Clark  had  it  instilled  into  his  army,  and  he  also  propa- 
gated it:  that  a  large,  army  of  Americans,  Long  Knives,  were 
organized  at  the  Falls,  and  were  ready  to  take  Vincennes  and 
Detroit,  and  to  reinforce  the  American  garrisons  at  Kaskaskia 
and  Cahokia.  These  statements  were  believed  by  the  French 
and  Indians,  and  had  a  powerful  effect  in  keeping,  not  only 
order  and  peace  in  the  country,  but  also,  the  American  domina- 
tion throughout  the  West.  As  Clark  and  men  had  done  so 
much,  the  inhabitants  and  Indians  concluded  that  another  such 
army  could  conquer  any  nation;  and  the  judgment  was  not  so 
incorrect;  but  the  army  must  have  had  another  Clark  to  com- 
mand them;  and  that  such  genius  and  talents  as  his  are  rare 
at  any  time  and  in  any  country. 

Col.  Clark  soon  heard  that  the  British  governor  at  Vincennes 
had  gone  to  Detroit,  and  that  the  fort,  old  Sackville,  was  in  the 
hands  of  the  citizens  of  Vincennes,  and  none  of  the  redcoat 
gentry  were  in  it. 

Arrangements  were  readily  made  for  an  embassy,  headed  by 
the  good  old  priest,  Gibault,  to  go  to  Vincennes  and  bring  the 
people  over  to  the  American  cause.  This  enterprise  was  suc- 
cessful. The  French  of  Vincennes  declared  for  the  Americans, 
and  Gibault  and  his  party,  together  with  several  gentlemen  from 
Vincennes,  returned  to  Kaskaskia,  about  the  first  of  August, 
with  the  joyful  intelligence. 

The  enlistment  oi  the  volunteers  under  Clark  was  about  to 
expire,  and  his  instructions  were  vague;  so  he  acted  at  discre- 


tion.  His  judgment  at  once  advised  him  that  the  country 
should  not  be  abandoned;  so  he  enlisted  again  many  of  the 
same  men  he  had  first,  together  with  many  of  the  French. 
Those  troops,  who  were  to  be  discharged,  were  sent  back  to  the 
Falls  at  Louisville,  under  the  command  of  Capt.  William  Linn, 
with  instructions  to  abandon  the  station  on  Corn  Island  and 
erect  a  permanent  fort  on  the  main  shore.  For  the  command 
of  the  post  at  Vincennes,  Col.  Clark  selected  Captain  Leonard 
Helm.  He  had  great  confidence  in  this  officer.  He  knew  him 
to  be  a  brave,  talented  man,  and  one  who  was  well  acquainted 
with  the  Indian  character.  Clark  appointed  him  Indian  agent 
in  the  department  of  the  Wabash.  About  the  middle  of 
August  he  went  and  took  possession  of  his  command. 

Captain  Helm  was  a  very  adroit  negotiator  with  the  Indians, 
and  brought  the  whole  Wabash  Indians,  thro'  the  influence  of 
the  Big  Door,  the  chief  of  the  Piankeshaw  nation,  to  the  Ameri- 
can interest.  All  the  Indians  on  the  Wabash,  as  far  up  as  Ouia- 
tenon,  came  down  to  Vincennes  and  treated  with  Capt.  Helm. 
The  British  interest  with  the  Indians  lost  ground  at  last  for 
some  time. 

Captain  Montgomery  reached  the  seat  of  government  of 
Virginia  with  the  British  governor  of  Illinois,  a  prisoner  of 
war,  and  with  dispatches  from  Col.  Clark. 

The  whole  country  spontaneously  resounded  with  the  warmest 
gratulations  to  Col.  Clark  and  his  brave  little  band. 

The  legislature  of  Virginia,  in  1778,  formed  the  Illinois 
country  into  a  county  of  that  name.  Illinois  had  the  honor 
to  extend  her  name,  in  former  times,  over  the  territory  of  the 
States  of  Ohio,  Indiana,  Michigan,  and  Wisconsin.  All  the 
settlers  on  the  west  side  of  the  Ohio  were  included  in  this 
county,  and  John  Todd,  Esq.,  of  Kentucky,  was  appointed 
lieut.-colonel  and  civil  commandant  of  the  same. 

The  governor  of  Virginia  did  not  send  troops  to  Col.  Clark, 
as  they  both  expected,  which  forced  Clark  to  receive  into  his 
service  many  of  the  Illinois  French.  With  the  troops  he  had 
he  garrisoned  Kaskaskia  and  Cahokia,  and  appointed  Williams 
captain  at  Kaskaskia,  and  Bowman  at  Cahokia.  In  the  fall  of 
the  year,  Major  Bowman  organized  a  respectable  force  and  pro- 
ceeded from  Cahokia  north  to  Rock  River.  This  expedition 


was  intended  to  influence  the  Indians  to  abandon  the  British 
interest  to  join  the  Americans. 

By  proper  arrangements,  Col.  Clark  had  a  great  number  of 
Indians  convened  at  Cahokia,  in  the  month  of  September,  1778, 
and  made  friendly  treaties  with  them. 

He  was  extremely  sagacious  to  discover  the  secret  moving 
springs  of  human  action;  and  particularly,  he  knew  well  the 
Indian  character. 

At  Cahokia,  Col.  Clark  waited  for  the  Indians  to  make  the 
advance  to  peace  and  friendship.  He  waited  with  determined 
obstinacy  until  the  red-skins  threw  away  the  hostile  wampum 
given  them  by  the  British  before  he  said  anything  to  them,  and 
cautioned  his  men  not  to  shake  hands  with  the  Indians  until 
peace  was  made;  so  that  heart  and  hand  could  go  together. 

Before  the  close  of  the  season,  all  the  Indians,  far  and  near, 
were  friendly  to  the  Americans.  The  country  inhabited  by  the 
whites  was  all  quiet  and  peaceable  in  the  hands  of  Virginia. 
The  famous  Capt.  Helm  was  in  peaceable  possession  of  the 
strong  British  fort,  Sackville,  with  only  two  Americans  and  some 
French  militia;  while  Clark  occupied  the  whole  Illinois  country 
with  less  than  one  hundred  men. 

The  "House  of  Delegates"  of  the  Virginia  legislature  passed 
the  following  complimentary  resolution: 

Monday,  the  23d  Nov.,  1778. 

Whereas,  authentic  information  has  been  received,  that  Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel George  Rogers  Clark,  with  a  body  of  Virginia 
militia,  has  reduced  the  British  posts  in  the  western  part  of  this 
Commonwealth  on  the  river  Mississippi  and  its  branches,  where- 
by great  advantage  may  accrue  to  the  common  cause  of  America, 
as  well  as  to  this  Commonwealth  in  particular: 

Resolved,  That  the  thanks  of  this  House  are  justly  due  to 
the  said  Col.  Clark  and  the  brave  officers  and  men  under  his 
command,  for  their  extraordinary  resolution  and  perseverance 
in  so  hazardous  an  enterprise,  and  for  their  important  services 
thereby  rendered  to  their  country. 

Attest,  E.  RANDOLPH,  c.  H.  D." 

Governor  Hamilton,  hearing  at  Detroit  that  the  Americans 
had  seized  on  the  country  in  his  absence,  was  much  concerned 


and  chagrined  that  the  country  he  had  in  charge  was  wrested 
from  him  by  a  few  ragged  militia  fro.rn  the  Old  Dominion. 

He  collected  his  forces — thirty  regular  troops,  fifty  Canadi- 
ans, and  four  hundred  Indians — and  reached  Vincennes  on  the 
1 5th  December,  1778.  The  people  made  no  defence,  but  the 
whole  defence  of  the  fort  devolved  on  Capt.  Helm  and  one 
other  American,  by  the  name  of  Henry.  When  Gov.  Hamil- 
ton came  within  hailing  distance,  Helm  called  out  with  a  loud 
voice,  "halt"!  This  show  of  defence  caused  Hamilton  to 
pause.  Henry  had  a  cannon  well  charged  and  placed  in  the 
open  gateway,  while  Helm  stood  by  it  with  a  lighted  match. 
Helm  exclaimed,  "no  man  shall  enter  here  until  I  know  the 
terms."  Hamilton  responded,  "you  shall  have  the  honors  of 
war."  The  fort  was  thereupon  surrendered,  and  the  one  officer 
and  one  private  received  the  honor  aforesaid,  for  their  defence 
of  the  fort. 

A  portion  of  Hamilton's  forces  was  dispatched  to  the  fron- 
tiers to  kill  and  scalp  the  inhabitants,  while  Helm  was  detained 
a  prisoner  of  war.  The  French  were  disarmed. 

Clark  was  in  a  most  perilous  and  distressing  situation.  No 
supplies  of  troops  or  munitions  of  war  reached  him  from  Vir- 
ginia. The  country  infested  with  hostile  Indians,  direct  from 
Detroit,  and  Hamilton  preparing  to  attack  him  at  Kaskaskia. 
This  posture  of  affairs  gave  Clark  excessive  uneasiness,  and 
harassed  him  day  and  night.  To  abandon  the  country  to  the 
hostile  Indians,  he  could  not  think  of  for  a  moment;  but  he 
had  no  means  of  defence.  However,  his  courage  and  judg- 
ment never  forsook  him.  His  talents  and  resources  were 
always  superior  to  the  occasion.  He  called  Major  Bowman 
and  his  little  force  from  Cahokia  down  to  Kaskaskia.  He 
burnt  down  some  houses  in  the  village  near  his  fort  and  pre- 
pared for  a  siege.  But  on  mature  reflection,  he  came  to  the 
bold  and  hazardous  conclusion,  that  he  would  muster  all  his 
forces  and  capture  Hamilton;  "for."  he  said,  "if  I  do  not  take 
him,  he  will  take  me." 

This  expedition  to  Vincennes  was  conducted  in  the  dead  of 
winter,  thro  a  wilderness  country,  without  resources,  and 
without  any  of  the  common  necessaries  for  the  support  of  an 


Clark,  with  his  uncommon  sagacity  to  penetrate  the  hearts 
of  men,  engaged  Col.  Vigo,  who  resided  at  the  time  in  St. 
Louis,  upper  Louisiana,  to  go  to  Vincennes  and  reconnoitre 
Fort  Sackville,  and  ascertain  the  disposition  of  the  people. 
No  choice  could  have  been  better.  .  Col.  Vigo  was  an  Italian 
by  birth,  but  in  his  heart  the  principles  of  freedom  and  love 
for  the  American  cause  sunk  deep.  He  was  a  merchant  pos- 
sessing great  wealth,  all  of  which,  together  with  the  most  of 
his  time,  he  spent  in  the  cause  of  the  American  Revolution. 
Not  a  more  worthy  man  lived  in  the  West  than  Col.  Vigo.  He 
resided  a  long  time  in  Indiana,  and  died  there.  The  State 
honored  his  memory  by  calling  a  county  for  him  and  Congress 
refunded  much  of  the  money  he  expended  in  the  early  settle- 
ment of  the  country. 

Col.  Vigo,  after  conferring  with  Col.  Clark  at  Kaskaskia,  with 
only  one  man  started  for  Vincennes;  but  at  the  Embarras,  five 
miles  from  his  destination,  he  was  taken  prisoner  by  the  Indi- 
ans, and  brought  before  Governor  Hamilton.  He  was  sus- 
pected of  being  an  American  spy,  but  being  extremely  popular 
with  the  inhabitants  and  a  Spanish  subject,  Hamilton  did  not 
detain  or  punish  him  as  such.  The  inhabitants  threatened  to 
give  no  more  supplies  to  Hampton  if  Vigo  was  not  suffered  to. 
depart  in  peace.  Hamilton  was  reluctant  to  yield,  and  on  this 
condition  only,  that  "Vigo  was  not  to  do  any  act  during  the 
war  injurious  to  the  British  interest."  He  peremptorily  refused 
to  sign  such  an  article;  but  agreed  that  he  would  not  do  any 
"act  on  his  way  to  St.  Louis!"  This  was  accepted,  and  Col. 
Vigo  was  permitted  to  leave  in  a  perogue  down  the  Wabash 
and  up  the  Mississippi  to  St.  Louis.  He  kept  his  pledge  with 
the  sanctity  of  an  oath;  but  he  remained  at  St.  Louis  only  to 
change  his  clothes,  when  he  started  to  see  Col.  Clark  at  Kas- 

From  Vigo,  Clark  learned  that  many  of  the  soldiers  were 
out  with  the  Indians  on  marauding  parties;  that  Hamilton  had 
eighty  regulars  in  the  fort;  and  that  the  French  were  friendly 
to  the  Americans.  He  also  learned  that  there  were  in  the  fort 
three  brass  field-pieces  and  some  swivels;  and  that  Hamilton 
intended  in  the  early  spring  to  reconquer  the  Illinois  country. 

On    receiving    this    information,   Clark    still    continued    his 


determination  to  capture  Fort  Sackville  to  prevent  Hamilton 
from  taking  him.  He  also  wrote  to  Governor  Patrick  Henry 
of  Virginia,  and  gave  him  in  detail  the  condition  of  the  country 
and  his  extreme  perilous  situation.  He  wanted  more  troops 
but  received  none. 

There  was  no  time  left  for  Clark  to  delay  any  longer;  or 
else  Hamilton  would  be  on  him.  A  boat  was  fitted  up  carry- 
ing two  four-pound  cannons,  four  swivels,  and  provisions;  and 
commanded  by  Capt.  John  Rogers  with  forty-six  men.  This 
boat  was  to  meet  Clark  at  a  point  near  Vincennes  with  all  con- 
venient speed. 

Clark  organized  two  companies  of  French  into  his  army; 
and,  all  told,  his  whole  force  amounted  to  no  more  than  one 
hundred  and  seventy  men.  One  company  from  Cahokia  was 
commanded  by  Capt.  McCarty,  and  the  other  company  from 
Kaskaskia  was  commanded  by  Capt.  Charleville. 

On  the  /th  February,  1779,  this  band  of  heroes  commenced 
its  march  from  Kaskaskia  on  the  Old  Vincennes  trace  to  Fort 
Sackville.  This  trace  was  celebrated  in  Illinois.  The  Indians 
laid  it  out  more  than  one  hundred  and  fifty  years  ago.  It 
commenced  at  Detroit,  thence  to  Ouiaton  on  the  Wabash, 
thence  to  Vincennes,  and  thence  to  Kaskaskia.  It  was  the 
Appian  way  of  Illinois  in  ancient  times.  It  is  yet  visible  in 
many  places  between  Kaskaskia  and  Vincennes.  This  expedi- 
tion of  Col.  Clark  was  the  most  dreary  and  fatiguing  that  was 
performed  during  the  Revolution. 

During  the  march  the  weather  was  uncommonly  wet.  The 
watercourses  were  out  of  their  banks,  and  the  larger  streams 
had  inundated  the  bottoms  from  bluff  to  bluff,  often  three  or 
four  miles  wide.  Yet  our  hardy  backwoodsmen,  on  foot  with 
their  knapsacks  on  their  backs  filled  with  parched  corn  and 
jerked  meat,  waded  thro  mud  and  water  to  the  forks  of  the 
Little  Wabash  River.  The  bottom  here  was  three  or  more 
miles  wide  and  inundated  never  under  three  feet  and  often 
four  feet. 

Thro  this  low  land  the  battalion  was  forced  to  march, 
feeling  for  the  trace.  At  this  place,  to  cross  the  river  Little 
Wabash,  the  party  made  a  canoe,  ferried  themselves  over  the 
stream,  and  put  their  baggage  on  a  scaffold  to  keep  it  out  of 


the  water  while  they  were  crossing  the  river.  They  crossed 
this  river  on  the  I5th  Feb.,  and  proceeded  on  over  the  streams, 
Fox  River  and  others,  until  on  the  i8th  they  heard  the  morn- 
ing gun  of  Fort  Sackville  at  Vincennes. 

Before  the  party  reached  the  Great  Wabash,  they  were  nearly 
exhausted  by  fatigue  and  traveling  in  the  cold  water.  At  the 
Little  Wabash,  many  of  the  troops  were  sinking  and  their 
spirits  exhausted.  Clark,  always  fruitful  in  resources,  called 
upon  an  Irishman,  a  drummer  in  the  battalion,  who  had  a 
peculiar  talent  to  sing  comic  songs.  When  the  men  wading 
for  hours  in  the  icy  water  up  to  their  middles  and  armpits,  and 
were  nearly  chilled  to  freezing,  this  Irishman  would  sing  lively, 
cheering  songs,  and  thereby  rouse  the  troops  to  life  again. 
But  it  was  at  the  Great  Wabash  where  the  party  experienced 
all  the  hardships  and  sufferings  of  which  human  nature  is  cap- 
able of  surmounting. 

The  party  reached  the  Wabash  below  the  mouth  of  the 
Embarrass,  and  were  in  the  most  exhausted,  destitute,  and 
starving  condition.  The  river  was  running  all  over  its  banks 
and  the  lowlands  near  it;  so  that  it  was  several  miles  wider 
Colonel  Clark  had  not  time  or  means  to  make  canoes  to  cross 
the  river.  The  party  was  literally  starving. 

On  the  2Oth  of  February,  the  Americans  hailed  a  party  of 
French  in  a  boat  from  Vincennes  and  brought  them  to.  From 
them  Col.  Clark  learned  that  the  people  of  Vincennes  were 
friendly  to  the  Americans,  and  that  the  British  garrison  had 
no  knowledge  of  the  expedition.  This  information  was  cheer- 
ing; but  a  sea  of  cold  water,  the  Wabash  bottom,  which  they 
had  no  means  of  crossing,  lay  between  Clark  and  Fort  Sack- 

Clark  and  his  party  experienced  the  greatest  difficulties  and 
perils  in  crossing  Wabash  River  and  the  lowlands  attached  to 
it.  They  waded  and  rafted,  and  suffered  every  sort  of  hard- 
ship except  death  itself.  On  reaching  the  high  ground  below 
Vincennes,  and  when  they  were  seated  on  dry  ground,  Clark 
addressed  the  following  note  to  the  citizens  of  Vincennes: 

"  To  the  Inhabitants  of  Post  Vincennes: — Gentlemen:  Being 
now  within  two  miles  of  your  village  with  my  army,  deter- 
mined to  take  your  fort  tonight,  and  not  being  willing  to  sur- 


prise  you,  I  take  this  method  to  request  such  of  you  as  are 
true  citizens,  and  would  enjoy  the  liberty  I  bring  you,  to 
remain  still  in  your  houses.  Those,  if  any  there  be,  that  are 
friends  to  the  king,  will  instantly  repair  to  the  fort  and  join  the 
hair-buyer  general,  and  fight  like  men;  and  such  as  do  not  go 
to  the  fort,  and  shall  be  discovered  afterward,  they  may  depend 
on  severe  punishment.  On  the  contrary,  those  that  are  true 
friends  to  liberty  shall  be  treated  as  friends  deserve.  And 
once  more  I  request  them  to  keep  out  of  the  streets,  for  every 
one  I  find  in  arms  on  my  arrival,  I  shall  treat  as  an  enemy. 

"G.  R.  CLARK." 

This  singular  address  had  the  desired  effect.  It  made  the 
people  believe  that  Clark  had  a  large  army  there  from  Ken- 
tucky, as  none,  as  they  supposed,  could  reach  there  from  Kas- 
kaskia.  Clark  sent  in  various  names  of  gentlemen  from  Ken- 
tucky to  their  friends  in  Vincennes,  which  made  the  citizens 
believe  that  half  Kentucky  was  there  with  him.  The  colonel, 
in  marching  thro  the  prairie  to  the  town,  made  a  large  display 
of  his  troops,  by  marching  them  back  and  forward  around  cer- 
tain mounds,  so  that  the  army  made  the  appearance  of  a  great 
body  of  troops.  The  flags  were  changed,  so  that  the  delusion 
of  many  fierce  Kentuckians  being  present  was  riveted  on  the 
garrison,  as  well  as  on  the  citizens  of  Vincennes. 

On  the  23d  of  Feb.,  1779,  about  sunset,  the  attack  was  made 
on  Fort  Sackville,  by  Lieut.  Bayley  and  fourteen  men.  This 
small  party  lay  concealed  behind  a  bank  of  earth  within  thirty 
yards  of  the  fort  and  secure  from  the  guns  of  the  garrison. 
Whenever  a  port-hole  was  opened  the  bullets  from  the  Ameri- 
can rifles  would  whistle  in,  destroying  the  men  at  the  guns;  ^so 
that  none  would  dare  to  work  the  cannon.  Some  were  killed 
at  the  port-holes,  and  none  others  could  be  got  there  to  defend 
the  works  against  the  Americans. 

At  nine  o'clock,  on  the  24th,  Clark  sent  into  the  fort  a  note. 
While  this  was  going  on,  his  men  ate  the  first  breakfast  they 
had  seen  for  many  days.  The  letter  is  the  following: 

"SiR:  In  order  to  save  yourself  from  the  impending  storm 
which  now  threatens  you,  I  order  you  immediately  to  surrender 
yourself,  with  all  your  garrison,  stores,  etc.  If  I  am  obliged 
to  storm,  you  may  depend  upon  such  treatment  alone  as  is 


justly  due  a  murderer.  Beware  of  destroying  stores  of  any 
kind,  or  any  papers  or  letters  that  are  in  your  possession,  or 
hurting  one  house  in  town;  for  by  heaven  if  you  do  there  shall 
be  no  mercy  shown  you.  G.  R.  CLARK." 

Gov.  Hamilton  was  affected  by  the  above  communication,  as 
will  appear  by  the  following  mild  answer: 

"Governor  Hamilton  begs  leave  to  acquaint  Col.  Clark,  that 
he  and  his  garrison  are  not  to  be  awed  into  any  action 
unworty  of  British  subjects." 

The  attack  was  renewed.  About  midnight  before,  Clark 
had  cut  a  ditch  near  the  fort,  and  in  it  his  riflemen  had  a 
secure  shelter  from  the  guns  of  the  fort.  They  poured  in  an 
incessant  fire  thro  the  port-holes,  and  silenced  two  pieces  of 
artillery  in  fifteen  minutes.  Every  gunner  who  approached 
the  cannon  at  the  port-holes  was  instantly  killed  or  driven 
back  from  the  guns  horror-stricken. 

This  terrible  and  incessant  fire  for  eighteen  hours  made  the 
garrison  believe  that  they  would  all  be  destroyed.  To  avoid 
this  catastrophe,  Gov.  Hamilton  sent  the  following  communi- 
cation to  Clark: 

"Governor  Hamilton  proposes  to  Col.  Clark  a  truce  for 
three  days,  during  which  time  he  promises  that  there  shall  be 
no  defensive  works  carried  on  in  the  garrison,  on  condition  that 
Col.  Clark  will  observe  on  his  part  a  like  cessation  of  offensive 
works;  that  is,  he  wishes  to  confer  with  Col.  Clark  as  soon  as 
can  be,  and  promises  that  whatever  may  pass  between  them 
two  and  another  person,  mutually  agreed  on  to  be  present, 
shall  remain  secret  until  matters  be  finished  as  he  wishes, 
whatever  the  result  of  the  conference  may  be,  it  may  tend  to- 
the  honor  and  credit  of  each  party.  If  Col.  Clark  makes  a 
difficulty  of  coming  into  the  fort,  Lieut. -Gov.  Hamilton  will 
speak  to  him  by  the  gate. 

"February  24th,  1779.  HENRY  HAMILTON." 

To  this  address  Clark  sent  the  following  reply: 

"Col.  Clark's  compliments  to  Gov.  Hamilton,  and  begs  leave 
to  say  that  he  will  not  agree  to  any  terms  other  than  Mr. 
Hamilton  surrendering  Jiimsclf  and  garrison  prisoners  at  discre- 
tion. If  Mr.  Hamilton  wants  to  taik  with  Col.  Clark,  he  will 
meet  him  at  the  church  with  Capt.  Helm." 


A  conference  was  held  between  Clark  and  Hamilton.  A 
surrender  was  demanded  by  Clark,  or  otherwise,  he  threatened 
a  massacre  of  the  leaders  in  the  fort  for  the  gold  given  for 
American  scalps.  Clark  was  in  earnest,  and  so  the  garrison 

In  one  hour,  Clark  dictated  the  following  terms: 

"ist.  Lieut.-Gov.  Hamilton  agrees  to  deliver  up  to  Col. 
Clark,  Fort  Sackville  and  all  the  stores,  etc.,  etc. 

"2d.  The  garrison  are  to  deliver  themselves  as  prisoners  of 
war,  and  march  out  with  their  arms  and  accoutrements. 

"3d.  The  garrison  to  be  delivered  up  tomorrow  at  ten 

"4th.  Three  days  are  allowed  the  garrison  to  settle  their 
accounts  with  the  inhabitants  and  traders. 

"5th.  The  officers  of  the  garrison  are  to  be  allowed  their 
necessary  baggage. 

"Signed  at  Post  St.  Vincennes,  this  24th  day  of  February, 
1779;  agreed  to  for  the  following  reasons:  ist.  Remoteness 
from  succor.  2d.  The  state  and  quantity  of  provisions.  3d. 
The  unanimity  of  the  officers  and  men  in  its  expediency.  4th. 
The  honorable  terms  allowed;  and,  lastly,  the  confidence  in  a 
generous  enemy. 

"HENRY  HAMILTON,  Lieut.-Gov.  and  Superin't." 

On  the  25th  February,  under  this  arrangement,  the  fort  was 
surrendered  to  Clark,  and  all  the  arms  and  public  stores  of  the 
fort  amounting  to  fifty'  thousand  dollars  or  more.  Seventy- 
nine  prisoners  were  sent  off  on  parole  to  Detroit,  and  Col. 
Hamilton  and  Major  Hay  with  some  other  officers  were  sent 
with  a  strong  guard  to  the  capital  of  Virginia. 

During  the  attack  on  the  fort  the  second  day,  a  war-party  of 
Indians,  ignorant  of  the  presence  of  Clark,  arrived  at  Vin- 
cennes from  an  excursion  to  the  frontiers  of  Kentucky,  bring- 
ing with  them  two  white  prisoners,  and  camped  in  the  vicinity 
of  the  fort.  Clark  sent  out  a  detachment  against  them,  and  in 
a  short  time  routed  the  Indians  with  the  loss  of  nine  warriors. 
The  remainder  of  the  Indians,  being  terrified  at  the  impetu- 
osity of  the  Long  Knives,  were  well  pleased  to  get  off  with 
their  lives. 

Intelligence  was  received  at  Vincennes  that  a  large  amount 


of  merchandise  with  an  escort  of  soldiers  was  on  the  way  for 
Sackville;  Clark,  with  his  usual  and  unaccountable  celerity  and 
sagacity,  ordered  Helm  at  the  head  of  sixty  men  to  intercept 
the  convoy  and  take  the  goods.  In  a  few  days'  absence,  Helm 
returned  with  the  escort  and  goods,  amounting  to  ten  thousand 
pounds,  without  the  loss  of  a  single  man. 

Clark  organized  a  government  at  the  Wabash,  and  returned 
to  Kaskaskia.  It  was  in  contemplation  to  march  a  military 
force  to  Detroit  and  take  it,  but  it  was  not  carried  out. 

Clark  had  treated  with  a  great  portion  of  the  Indians  in  the 
northwest,  and  had  captured  the  general  of  the  hair-buying 
government;  so  that  the  Indians  after  the  conquest  of  Illinois 
were  never  so  powerful  or  so  hostile  as  before.  The  British 
Government  never  after  this  conquest  attempted  to  regain  pos- 
session of  the  country.  Thus  terminated  one  of  the  most 
remarkable  conquests  of  a  country  recorded  in  history.  This 
small  army  was  provided  with  nothing  to  sustain  them  and 
guide  to  victory  and  honor  except  the  extraordinary  talents  of 
the  commander. 

John  Todd  being  appointed  the  commandant  of  the  county 
of  Illinois,  arrived  at  Kaskaskia  early  in  May,  and  on  the 
1 5th  June,  1779,  issued  a  proclamation.  He  organized  courts 
of  justice,  and  appointed  officers,  etc.,  to  establish  a  regular 
government  in  the  country.  On  his  return  thro  Kentucky 
from  Virginia,  where  he  had  been  on  public  business,  he  was 
killed  at  the  battle  of  the  Blue  Licks  in  Kentucky.  Another 
commandant,  Timothy  Demountbrun,  was  appointed  over  the 
County  of  Illinois,  but  what  'he  did  or  when  his  official  duties 
expired  no  one  at  this  day  knows. 

It  is  an  extraordinary  fact,  that  very  few  Americans  visited 
Illinois  or  lived  in  it  before  the  conquest  by  Clark.  All  the 
intercourse  Clark  had  was  with  the  French,  and  of  them  he 
obtained  supplies  for  his  army.  Oliver  Pollock  was  a  kind  of 
an  agent  for  the  Government  stationed  at  New  Orleans,  to 
settle  and  pay  drafts  sent  to  him  by  the  officers  of  the  army 
and  others  in  the  West.  Clark  gave  drafts  on  this  agent  for 
the  supplies  for  his  army  when  they  were  in  Illinois;  but  not 
many  of  these  orders  are  paid  to  this  day. 

Virginia  had  not  the  means  to  spare  to  send  either  men  or 


money  to  Clark  to  sustain  his  troops.  It  is  true,  the  govern- 
ment of  the  Old  Dominion  gave  a  large  grant  of  land,  which 
is  located  on  the  Ohio  River  opposite  the  celebrated  Corn 
Island,  to  Clark  and  his  men.  This  tract  of  land  amounts  to 
one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  acres. 

At  the  time  Clark  and  his  army  occupied  Illinois,  there  was 
very  little  metallic  currency  in  the  country,  and  bank  paper 
was  almost  unknown.  The  currency  was  more  in  shaved  deer- 
skins, three  pounds  for  the  dollar,  than  in  any  other  currency. 
If  books  were  kept  in  reference  to  any  other  currency  it  was 
merely  nominal,  as  the  exchange  of  one  article  for  another 
was  the  mode  of  doing  business  at  that  day  and  for  many 
years  after. 

The  cultivation  of  the  soil  gradually  diminished,  and  the 
French  population  of  Illinois  declined  from  the  time  the 
British  took  possession  of  the  country;  yet  the  French  who 
remained,  cultivated  the  common  fields  and  were  also  engaged 
as  voyagers  and  coureurs  de  bois,  as  they  were  designated. 

These  early  Canadian  French  were  robust,  strong  men  and 
made  excellent  boatmen.  They  were  hardy  and  became  accus- 
tomed to  voyaging;  so  that  on  a  boat  to  New  Orleans  or  to 
the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony  or  to  the  Rocky  Mountains  they 
were  at  home.  A  great  number,  forty,  fifty  or  more  would 
embark  on  a  single  barge  to  New  Orleans  and  return  with  it 
heavily  freighted  with  southern  products  and  European  mer- 

About  the  year  1775,  Joseph  Trotier,  an  enterprising  trader 
from  Canada,  settled  in  Cahokia.  He  carried  on  a  large  com- 
merce from  his  village — Cahokia — to  New  Orleans.  On  a 
voyage  from  New  Orleans  to  Cahokia  in  one  of  his  large  boats 
heavily  laden,  a  large  cotton-wood  tree  fell  across  the  boat  and 
destroyed  it  and  the  cargo.  Such  an  occurrence  was  not 
unfrequent  during  high  water  with  boats  ascending  the  Missis- 

The  current  of  the  Mississippi  was  so  strong  that  boats  were 
compelled  to  run  close  to  the  shore,  where  the  current  is  less 
forcible.  The  river,  when  it  was  high,  frequently  washed  the 
sands  from  under  acres  of  the  banks  with  large  trees  growing 
on  them,  and  this  land,  when  undermined,  would  sink  at  once 


into  the  water  with  a  great  noise,  which  may  be  heard  for 
miles.  It  was  in  one  of  these  slides  that  Trotier's  boat  was 

The  boatmen  had  great  difficulty  in  ascending  the  Missis- 
sippi, on  account  of  the  strong  current.  It  frequently  required 
them  four  or  five  months  to  ascend  the  river  with  a  large  bat- 
teau  from  New  Orleans  to  Kaskaskia;  and  often  on  the  voyage 
many  of  the  boatmen  were  swept  off  by  sickness. 

It  was  not  only  sickly  on  a  voyage  ascending  the  river  in 
the  summer,  but  it  was  extreme  hard  labor  to  navigate  a  large 
vessel  against  the  current  of  the  Mississippi.  In  the  most 
rapid  current  the  oars  would  not  answer  the  purpose.  In  such 
extraordinary  sections  of  the  river  a  large  rope  or  cordelle  was 
used.  One  end  was  fastened  to  the  boat  and  ten,  fifteen,  or 
twenty  men,  according  to  the  necessity  of  the  case,  placed  at 
the  other  end,  towed  the  boat  after  them.  When  the  party 
reached  a  river  or  creek  entering  into  the  Mississippi,  they 
swam  over  with  the  cordelle  and  towed  on  the  boat.  Canoes 
or  skiffs  were  sometimes  used  in  crossing  these  intervening 
streams.  In  some  currents  that  were  very  strong,  the  upper 
end  of  the  cordelle  was  fastened  to  a  tree  and  the  other  end 
put  round  a  windlass  and  thereby  the  boat  was  forced  up  the 
river  against  the  current. 

These  cordelle  ropes  were  frequently  very  long,  measuring 
five  or  six  hundred  yards,  and  the  size  in  proportion  to  the 
boat  which  was  to  be  towed. 

Every  one  has  witnessed  the  extraordinary  difference  in 
ascending  the  river  between  common  barges  and  steamboats. 
Comfort  and  even  pleasure  is  enjoyed  on  a  steamer;  while 
excessive  labor,  tardy  progress,  and  sickness  attended  the 
barges  in  their  slow  head-way  up  the  river. 

In  the  first  settlement  of  the  country,  the  inhabitants  were 
in  great  distress  for  want  of  salt;  but  they  discovered  in  the 
present  county  of  Gallatin,  salt-springs,  which  were  much  used 
by  the  Indians  and  French  of  Vincennes.  From  the  first  set- 
tlement of  the  Wabash  by  the  French  for  nearly  one  hundred 
years  after,  much  salt  was  made  out  of  the  water  of  these 
springs  and  conveyed  to  Vincennes.  The  enterprising  and 
energetic  United  States  Senator  Henry  Dodge  of  Iowa  and 


the  French  before  him  made  salt  at  the  saline  below  Ste.  Gen- 
evieve.  From  these  works  much  salt  was  conveyed  to  Illinois. 
Whether  Gen.  Dodge  manufactured  salt  or  served  in  the  United 
States  Senate,  he  always  deported  himself  with  that  dignity 
and  noble  bearing  that  forms  the  true  character  of  a  western 
pioneer.  Mr.  Cabanne  of  St.  Louis,  another  sample  of  these 
noble  pioneers,  made  salt  at  his  works  west  of  St.  Louis  near 
the  Merrimac  River.  Salt  was  manufactured  here  in  early 
Spanish  times  in  Louisiana. 

The  city  of  Nashville,  Tennessee,  is  situated  at  the  site  of 
the  salt-works  known  in  the  early  times  as  the  French  Lick. 
Salt  was  manufactured  and  conveyed  to  Illinois.  Salt-water 
in  modern  times  has  been  discovered  in  many  places  in  Illinois. 
On  Big  Muddy  River,  quantities  were  manufactured  by  Conrad 
Will  and  others.  Judge  Biggs  made  salt  in  Madison  County 
on  Silver  Creek;  and  in  Bond  County  on  Shoal  Creek  salt  was 
also  manufactured.  Gen.  Edger  owned  the  works  and  manu- 
factured salt  many  years  at  a  saline  in  Monroe  County  at  the 
Mississippi  Bluff. 

In  Vermilion  County  salt-water  was  discovered,  and  salt 
manufactured  by  Mr.  Vance.  This  gentleman  bored  into  the 
rock  for  salt-water  to  the  depth  of  four  or  five  hundred  feet. 

It  appears  that  there  is  salt-water  throughout  the  State  of 
Illinois,  and,  in  fact,  all  over  the  western  country  salt-water 
has  been  discovered  either  in  springs  or  by  digging  for  it;  so 
that  this  indispensable  article  may  be  found  in  every  section  of 
the  country. 

The  Kannahwa  salt-works;  the  Ohio  Saline,  situated  in  Gal- 
latin  County;  and  the  Boone's  Lick  works,  Mo.;  in  modern 
times  furnished  great  quantities  for  the  West;  but  the  convey- 
ance of  sea  salt  from  New  Orleans  being  so  cheap,  and  the 
article  being  stronger,  not  so  much  is  manufactured  at  these 
works  as  formerly.  Much  salt  is  now  conveyed  to  Chicago 
from  New  York. 

In  the  early  settlement  of  the  country,  the  inhabitants  used 
not  much  iron.  The  earth  was,  for  the  most  part,  clear  of 
gravel  and  rocks;  so  that  the  luxury  of  horse-shoeing  was  not 
much  indulged  in.  The  plows  were  almost  strangers  to  iron^ 
and  the  carts  entirely  so.  Iron  was  not  much  in  use,  and  none 
made  in  the  country. 


In  very  early  times,  very  little  intoxicating  liquor,  if  any  at 
all,  was  introduced  into  the  country.  Indian  traders  may  have 
had  small  quantities;  but  so  small  that  it  was  scarcely  noticed. 
In  after-times,  a  liquor  from  New  Orleans,  called  Taffia,  was 
brought  to  Illinois.  This  was  manufactured  out  of  sugar  or 
sugar-cane  in  the  West -India  Islands,  and  resembled  New- 
England  rum.  Some  considerable  wine  was  manufactured  out 
of  the  native  grapes.  This  wine  was  made  by  the  first  settlers 
but  disappeared  with  the  Europeans.  The  Creoles  made  little 
or  none. 

In  the  middle  ages  of  Illinois,  the  Monongahela  whisky 
reigned  triumphant,  and  was  hailed  at  shooting-matches  and 
horse-races  by  many  as  "the  poor  man's  friend",  the  "kindest 
and  the  best."  Yet,  in  truth,  the  Illinois  people  were  never  in 
early  times  intemperate. 

In  the  pioneer  times  of  Illinois,  the  mechanic  arts  did  not 
flourish.  Mason  work  of  that  day  was  good;  but  of  the  rest 
I  can  say  nothing  in  praise  of  them.  The  cooperage  of  the 
country  amounted  to  very  little  more  than  making  well- 
buckets.  The  carpenters  were  unskilful  in  their  profession. 
They  framed  houses  and  covered  them  with  peg  shingles; 
made  batton-doors,  etc.,  in  a  rough  fashion.  No  shoemakers 
or  tanners;  but  all  dressed  deer-skins  and  made  moccasons. 
Almost  every  inhabitant  manufactured  his  own  cart  and  plow, 
and  made  his  harness,  traces,  and  all  out  of  raw-hide.  Black- 
smith's-shops  were  like  iron  —  scarce.  Altho  the  citizens  had 
cattle,  yet  scarcely  any  butter  or  cheese  was  ever  seen  in  the 
country.  In  fact,  neither  male  or  female  worked  much;  but 
the  females  assumed  their  prerogative  of  doing  less  than  the 
males.  There  was  neither  spinning-wheels  nor  looms  in  the 
land.  It  must  be  awarded  to  the  French,  and  particularly  to 
the  ladies,  that  they  expended  much  labor  and  showed  much 
taste  in  making  nice  gardens.  They  received  not  only  much 
profit  and  comfort  of  living  out  of  their  gardens,  but  they  also 
enjoyed  the  pleasure  of  rearing  and  seeing  the  beautiful  plants 
and  flowers  growing  in  their  gardens,  which  is  so  congenial  to 
French  taste. 

The  invading  army  under  Col.  Clark  was  made  acquainted 
with  the  fertility  and  advantages  of  Illinois,  which  caused 
many  of  his  men  and  others  to  settle  in  the  country. 


It  was  the  war  with  Great  Britain  in  1812,  that  gave  Illinois 
a  modern  notoriety.  The  troops  from  Kentucky  and  the  West, 
seeing  the  northern  section  of  Illinois,  reported  the  advantages 
of  the  country,  which  caused  it  to  settle.  Clark's  campaign 
made  the  country  known  and  thereby  it  was  settled. 

I  can  not  agree  with  the  generality  of  mankind,  that  war  is  a 
great  scourge  and  curse  on  mankind.  If  a  war  is  carried  on 
without  its  being  based  on  some  proper  and  just  principle,  it  is 
a  curse;  but  this  is  not  often  the  case  in  these  modern  days. 

I  consider  that  the  war  of  the  American  Revolution  was  ser- 
viceable to  the  whole  human  family.  The  result  of  this  war 
was  the  first  practical  demonstration  that  man  is  capable  of 
self-government.  The  free  institutions  of  America,  which  are 
the  fruit  of  the  Revolution,  will  have  a  tendency  to  liberate  all 
people  who  are  oppressed  by  an  arbitrary  government.  In  this 
view,  the  Revolutionary  War  was  the  best  and  most  holy  that 
ever  existed;  and  is  a  blessing  to  all  mankind. 

The  wars  of  the  crusades  done  good  to  Europe.  This  is  the 
decision  of  the  best  and  wisest  of  men.  The  revolutionary  war 
of  France,  altho  much  blood  was  shed,  yet  it  was  serviceable  to 
the  world.  It  made  the  people  know  their  rights,  power,  and 
importance.  And  the  campaign  of  Col.  Clark  not  only  made 
known  this  country  to  the  colonies,  but  the  conquest  of  Illinois 
figured  strong  in  our  favor  in  making  the  treaty  of  1783  with 
Great  Britain. 

It  was  during  the  Revolution,  while  the  colonies  were  strug- 
gling for  their  independence,  and  the  whole  country  in  arms, 
one  against  the  other,  that  a  small  band  of  enterprising  emi- 
grants from  the  colonies  settled  in  Illinois  in  the  year  1781. 
At  this  early  period,  and  while  no  one  knew  in  traveling  whether 
he  would  fall  into  the  hands  of  a  friend  or  foe,  James  Moore, 
Shadrach  Bond,  Robert  Kidd,  Larken  Rutherford,  and  James 
Garrison  decided  to  make  Illinois  their  homes.  This  small 
party  crossed  the  Alleghany  Mountains,  descended  the  Ohio, 
and  stemmed  the  current  of  the  Mississippi  to  Kaskaskia.  The 
emigration  of  these  pioneers  was  also  during  a  bloody  Indian 
war.  This  party  was  for  peace  and  for  the  settlement  of  the 
country,  having  with  them  their  women  and  children;  so  that 
they  were  not  armed  and  prepared  for  war  as  a  military  expedi- 


tion  would  be.  It  is  therefore  extraordinary  that  this  small 
party  of  emigrants  could  escape  all  the  dangers  of  the  Revolu- 
tion and  Indian  hostilities  and  reach  Illinois  in  safety.  It  would 
seem  that  Providence  was  fostering  this  infant  settlement  in 

James  Moore  was  the  leader  of  the  party,  and  was  a  native 
of  Maryland.  Kidd  and  Rutherford  had  been  soldiers  under 
Col.  Clark.  Bond  was  also  a  native  of  Maryland,  and  raised 
near  Baltimore,  until  he  made  the  Far-west  his  home.  Gar- 
rison, Moore,  and  Rutherford  located*  themselves  near  the  Belle- 
fontaine  in  the  present  county  of  Monroe,  while  Bond,  Kidd, 
and  Garrison  settled  in  the  Mississippi  Bottom. 

These  American  families  settling  in  the  Mississippi  lowland, 
gave  the  name  of  American  Bottom  to  the  alluvial  land  of  the 
river  from  Alton  to  the  mouth  of  the  Kaskaskia  River.  This 
is  perhaps  the  largest  and  most  fertile  body  of  alluvial  soil  in 
the  United  States.  Some  of  it  has  been  cultivated  for  more 
than  one  hundred  and  fifty  years  without  improvement  of  the 
soil,  and  it  yet  yields  excellent  crops.  Almost  all  the  early 
French  settlements  were  made  in  it,  and  when  it  is  drained  of 
some  lakes  and  ponds  it  will  be  the  largest  tract  of  land  of  the 
same  fertility  in  North  America. 

The  river  at  times  not  frequent  inundates  the  American  Bot- 
tom. The  first  notice  history  gives  us  of  a  great  rise  of  water 
in  the  Mississippi  was  in  the  year  1770.  That  year  the  water 
encroached  on  the  banks  of  the  river  opposite  Fort  Chartres, 
erected  in  1718.  At  that  time  the  river  was  three-fourths  of  a 
mile  from  it;  but  continued  to  advance  on  the  fort  until  the 
year  1772,  when  the  bottom  was  inundated  and  one  of  the  walls 
of  the  fort  washed  down.  The  next  extraordinary  freshet  in 
the  riyer  was  in  the  year  1784,  this  was  a  deep  inundation  of 
the  bottom.  The  inhabitants  of  Kaskaskia  made  a  temporary 
encampment  on  the  high  land  east  of  the  town  and  some  of 
them  cultivated  land  on  the  hills  that  year.  The  same  of  the 
Cahokia  people.  Many  of  them  retired  to  the  rocky  bluff, 
southeast  of  Cahokia  for  relief  during  the  high  water  and  called 
it  Bon  Succour.  Others  went  to  St.  Louis.  The  next  very  high 
water  in  the  American  Bottom  was  in  the  year  1844.  Large 
steamboats  in  this  flood  sailed  from  bluff  to  bluff.  This  rise  of 


water  did  great  damage  to  property  in  the  bottom,  and  almost 
destroyed  the  villages  of  Cahokia,  Prairie  du  Pont,  Prairie  du 
Rocher,  and  Kaskaskia.  These  villages  have  not  recovered 
from  the  injury  of  the  floods  of  1844.  The  past  year,  1851, 
the  bottom  was  again  flooded  and  much  damage  done  to  the 
real  and  personal  property.  This  rise  of  water  was  not  so  high 
as  either  that  of  1784  or  1844.  A  considerable  flood  occurred 
in  the  bottom  in  1826;  but  not  to  compare  with  those  men- 
tioned above. 

The  first  site  at  which  Moore  made  his  resting-place  was  not 
far  southwest  of  the  present  town  of  Waterloo  at  a  spring  called 
to  this  day  Slab  Spring. 

Bond,  Garrison,  and  Kidd  made  a  settlement  in  the  bottom 
known  at  that  day  as  the  Block-House  Fort. 

Not  long  after  the  arrival  of  James  Moore,  he  was  employed 
by  Gabriel  Cere,  a  wealthy  merchant  of  St.  Louis,  to  take  goods 
and  trade  with  the  Indians  in  the  western  part  of  Tennessee. 

Mr.  Moore  continued  in  this  trade  with  the  southern  Indians 
for  many  years,  and  made  his  general  headquarters  at  the  site 
the  city  of  Nashville  occupies  at  this  time,  called  then  the  French 

Mr.  Moore  had  a  large  family  whose  descendants  in  Illinois 
are  both  numerous  and  respectable.  The  same  may  be  said  of 
the  other  early  emigrants,  only,  perhaps,  their  offsprings  are  not 
so  numerous. 

Mr.  Bond  numbered  many  years  before  his  death.  As  he 
advanced  in  age,  his  excellent  traits  of  character  became  more 
and  more  known  to  the  people,  and  the  more  was  his  character 
esteemed.  He  was  often  elected  to  the  legislature  of  both  Ter- 
ritories of  Indiana  and  the  Northwestern  Territory.  He  was  in 
(A  the  legislature  at  Cincinnati,  September,  179^.  He  was,  a  jus- 
tice of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  of  St.  Clair  County  for 
many  years  together  and  was  always  held  in  high  estimation  by 
the  people.  Judge  Bond  in  his  neighborhood  possessed  a  stand- 
ing for  integrity  and  honesty  that  could  not  be  surpassed.  In 
his  younger  days,  as  most  others  did,  he  hunted  part  of  his 
time  and  was  considered  an  excellent  woodsman.  He  was  no" 
ambitious  for  wealth  and  when  he  acted  for  the  public  it  was  t 
accommodate  them,  not  himself. 


He  possessed  a  strong  mind  and  an  excellent  heart.  He  had 
a  very  limited  education ;  but  nature  supplied  all  the  omissions 
of  education  and  made  him  a  most  worthy  character. 

James  Garrison  was  almost  *fac-simile  of  Judge  Bond  except 
he  always  successfully  refused  office.  He  was  an  honest,  upright 
citizen  and  an  excellent  soldier;  as  that  part  of  his  character 
was  frequently  put  to  the  test  in  the  many  Indian  skirmishes  he 
and  others  of  the  emigrants  had  with  the  hostile  Indians.  He 
lived  and  died  in  the  American  Bottom  where  he  left  a  posterity 
of  very  exemplary  citizens. 

Robert  Kidd  continued  his  residence  in  the  American  Bottom 
until  his  death.  He  lived  for  many  years  on  a  mound  in  the 
American  Bottom  near  Fort  Chartres.  He  was  a  good  citizen, 
quiet  and  domestic.  He  raised  a  family  of  children;  some  of 
whom  are  now  alive  and  are  like  their  father,  worthy  and 
respectable.  Mr.  Kidd  was  a  farmer  and  lived  a  long  life  to 
enjoy  the  country  he  assisted  to  conquer  under  Col.  Clark.  He 
died  in  1849,  at  his  residence  in  the  Bottom  in  Monroe  County, 
numbering  more  than  four  score  years. 

Larken  Rutherford  was  also  one  of  Col.  Clark's  valiant  men 
that  aided  in  the  conquest  of  Illinois.  He  was  large  and 
athletic,  bold  and  fearless.  He  was  in  his  decline  of  years  a 
member  of  the  regular  Baptist  Church,  and  exercised  the  same 
energy  and  zeal  in  this  avocation  as  he  did  with  the  rifle  in 
storming  Fort  1779.  In  the  organization  and  gov- 
ernment of  the  church  Mr.  Rutherford  was  not  a  dormant 
member  but  up  and  active  in  the  work,  whether  the  job  was 
difficult  or  not.  He  was  in  his  church  like  he  was  in  the  army, 
ready  at  any  moment  for  mortal  combat.  He  was  honest  but 
rather  inclined  to  a  vigorous  observance  of  his  duties,  and  a 
trouble  in  the  clerical  camp  if  the  others  did  riot  come  to  the 
.  exact  point  as  he  did.  He  was  a  farmer  in  the  county  of  St. 
Clair  and  resided  for  many  years  not  far  north  of  the  present 
city  of  Belleville. 

About  this  time,  1781,  and  from  the  time  Col.  Clark  first 
came  to  the  country,  which  was  about  four  years  before,  private 
individuals  and  families  emigrated  to  Kaskaskia  and  many  of 
them  permanently  remained  there.  Kaskaskia  was  the  metro- 
polis of  the  country  while  the  French  and  British  possessed  it, 


and  it  continued  the  same  under  the  American  government 
until  1819.  The  seat  of  government  of  Illinois  soon  after  this 
date  was  established  at  Vandalia. 

John  Edgar,  during  the  American  Revolution,  left  the  naval 
service  of  Great  Britain  in  1776,  came  to  the  United  Colonies, 
and  arrived  at  Kaskaskia  in  1784.  He  had  command  of  a 
vessel  on  the  lakes,  but  he  resigned  all  for  liberty  and  confided 
his  life  to  the  American  cause.  This  was  quite  natural- and 
honorable  to  him.  He  was  a  native  of  Ireland  and  a  gentleman 
of  liberal  education.  His  heart  burned  for  freedom,  and  he  was 
born  and  educated  with  an  intense  hatred  to  Great  Britain. 

He  was  intelligent  and  felt  with  a  keen  sensibility  the  heart- 
less despotism  exercised  by  Great  Britain  over  his  native  land. 
He  was  found  in  the  British  service  when  the  colonies  raised 
the  standard  of  freedom  and  independence.  What  was  he  to 
do?  He  could  not  with  a  clear  conscience  fight  for  a  country 
that  in  his  heart  he  despised ;  and  against  a  people  he  admired 
and  loved.  The  decision  was  easily  made  and  he  became  a 
citizen  of  the  United  States.  He  emigrated  to  Kaskaskia  with 
a  large  stock  of  goods  suitable  to  the  market,  and  remained 
there  till  his  death  which  occurred  in  1832.  He  lived  in  Kas- 
kaskia for  at  least  half  a  century  and  during  all  that  time  sus- 
tained a  very  conspicuous  and  honorable  character. 

He  came  to  the  country  wealthy,  and  shared  it  out  among 
the  people  with  unbounded  hospitality.  He  possessed  in  an 
eminent  degree  the  kind  and  benevolent  heart  of  an  Irish  gen- 
tleman; and  with  his  wealth  and  benevolent  disposition  it 
afforded  him  happiness  to  make  all  around  him  happy.  He 
was  in  his  younger  days  an  active  business  man,  and  was 
largely  engaged  in  the  land  trade.  In  very  early  times,  he 
erected  at  great  expense,  a  fine  flouring-mill  on  the  same  site 
where  M.  Paget  had  built  one  sixty  years  before.  This  mill 
was  a  great  benefit  to  the  public  and  also  profitable  to  the  pro- 
prietor. Before  the  year  1800,  this  mill  manufactured  great 
quantities  of  flour  for  the  New-Orleans  market  which  would 
compare  well  with  the  Atlantic  flour. 

Gen.  Edgar  was  the  owner  of  a  splendid  mansion  in  Kaskas- 
kia, and  in  it,  on  all  occasions,  the  traveler  and  stranger  found  a 
hearty  welcome.  No  one  ever  displayed  more  real  hospitality 


than  he  did  in  his  house.  Hospitality  was  the  common  custom 
of  the  country;  but  he  improved  on  it.  This  agreeable  dwell- 
ing was  the  fashionable  resort  for  almost  half  a  century;  and 
many  yet  alive  can  testify  to  the  comforts  and  kind  treatment 
they  have  enjoyed  under  his  hospitable  roof. 

For  many  years  he  was  the  most  wealthy  man  in  Illinois. 
He  held  real  estate  throughout  the  country,  and  paid  more 
taxes  than  any  other  person  at  one  time  in  the  territory.  With 
all  this  wealth  and  influence,  he  was  kind  and  benevolent  to  the 
poor;  nor  did  it  ever  change  his  deportment  from  an  American 
gentleman.  He  enjoyed  the  confidence  of  the  public,  and  was, 
when  in  active  life,  very  popular.  •  He  was  elected  from  Illinois 
a  member  of  the  legislature  of  the  Northwestern  Territory. 
This  General  Assembly  convened  at  Chilicothe,  Ohio;  and  was 
held  under  the  administration  of  Arthur  St.  Clair,  governor  of 
the  Northwestern  Territory. 

Gen.  Edgar  acted  as  justice -of- the -peace  and  judge  of  the 
Court  of  Common  Pleas  for  a  long  series  of  years  and  gave 
general  satisfaction.  He  had  never  made  the  profession  of  the 
law  his  particular  study;  but  common  sense,  a  good  education, 
and  experience  in  business  with  perfect  honesty  made  him  a 
very  respectable  officer.  The  United  States  appointed  him 
major-general  over  the  Illinois  militia,  and  he  reviewed  the 
general  musters  with  that  dignity  that  became  his  high  station. 
And  when  his  years  were  almost  numbered,  the  general  assembly 
of  Illinois  named  in  honor  of  him  a  county.  Edgar  County  on 
the  east  side  of  the  State  is  one  of  the  first  counties  in  the 
VVabash  Valley. 

Gen.  Edgar  in  person  was  large  and  portly.  In  his  youth  he 
was  active,  and  was  always  in  both  youth  and  age  an  accom- 
plished gentleman.  He  possessed  a  well-balanced  mind;  no 
one  trait  prevailing  over  the  others  except  his  benevolence. 
This  quality  was  predominant,  which  was  exhibited  hi  him 
throughout  a  long  and  eventful  life.  His  dust  is  mixed  with 
his  mother-earth  at  Kaskaskia,  where  the  people  will  long 
remember  Gen.  Edgar  with  love  and  gratitude.  He  had  a  wife 
but  no  children.  And  altho  he  was  accused  of  many  gallant- 
ries with  the  ladies,  yet  he  died  without  issue.  Gen.  Edgar  well 
sustained  the  honorable  character  of  a  pioneer.  He  possessed 


many  of  the  qualities  that  adorn  the  human  race,  with  very  few 
that  are  condemned.  He  died  as  he  lived,  "the  noblest  work 
of  God." 

The  treaty  of  peace  between  the  United  States  and  Great 
Britain  made  in  1783  had  a  great  effect  in  advancing  the  emi- 
gration to  Illinois. 

The  acknowledged  Independence  of  the  United  States  by 
Great  Britain  gave  the  whole  country,  Illinois  included,  a  fixed 
character  and  standing  at  home  and  abroad.  This  was  a  great 
inducement  to  emigration. 

In  fact,  the  American  Revolution  is  an  event  so  interesting 
to  the  whole  people  that  it  had  a  great  influence  on  Illinois  as 
well  as  on  every  section  of  the  Union.  I  shall,  therefore,  give 
the  outlines  of  that  extraordinary  change  of  government;  be- 
cause it  is  connected  with  the  "Pioneer  History  of  Illinois." 

The  founders  of  the  Republic  of  the  United  States  were 
raised  and  lived  in  adversity.  The  school  of  adversity  made 
the  colonists  a  great  and  energetic  people,  capable  of  achieving 
a  revolution  that  has  produced  more  beneficial  effects  to  man- 
kind than  any  other  recorded  in  history. 

All  men  are  influenced  by  surrounding  circumstances,  and 
can  not  avoid  it.  The  various  colonies  along  the  Atlantic  sea- 
coast  were  planted  and  reared  under  very  adverse  circumstances. 
They  had  a  long  series  of  hardships  and  perils  to  encounter. 
They  were  annoyed  with  almost  everything  that  could  injure 
the  human  family.  Indian  wars,  sickness,  famine,  and  destruc- 
tion of  almost  everything  that  rendered  life  comfortable  were 
visited  on  the  first  settlements  of  the  colonies.  This  kind  of 
life  for  several  generations  together,  gave  the  people  of  the 
colonies  a  decided  character  of  independence  and  courage.  In 
fact,  they  possessed  all  the  qualities  of  mind  and  body  to  enable 
them  to  accomplish  this  memorable  revolution. 

The  very  moment  the  British  Parliament  infringed  on  their 
rights  as  freemen,  they  resisted  it.  It  is  true,  at  first  they  had 
no  idea  of  freedom  and  independence  of  the  British  crown. 
They  were  not,  at  the  commencement,  united;  and  therefore 
did  not  know  their  strength;  nor  did  the  parent  country  know 
the  young  lion  she  was  rousing  into  action.  The  British  Gov- 
ernment continued  their  oppression  and  illegal  measures  in  par- 


liament,  until  these  colonists,  who  knew  their  rights  and  dared 
maintain  them,  would  not  submit  any  longer. 

The  energies  and  bravery  of  the  colonies  were  exerted  for 
the  mother-country  in  the  French  war,  so  called;  which  was 
closed  by  the  treaty  of  Paris  in  1763.  In  this  war  the  colonies 
lost  twenty-five  thousand  men  and  expended  their  revenues  to 
sustain  it  until  they  were  reduced  to  poverty.  It  was  these 
colonies  that  wrested  the  western  country  and  Canada  from 
France,  and  it  enabled  them  also  to  conquer  their  own  freedom 
and  independence  from  the  mother-country. 

The  British  Government  being  clear  of  any  embarrassment 
arising  from  France  in  the  new  world,  commenced  a  different 
policy  with  the  colonies,  and  in  March,  1764,  the  next  year 
after  the  treaty  of  Paris,  commenced  the  memorable  stamp  act 
and  similar  oppressive  measures.  The  Government  of  Great 
Britain  decided  to  raise  a  revenue  from  the  colonies  without 
them  being  represented  in  parliament.  This  measure  violated 
that  fundamental  principle,  that  taxation  and  representation 
must  go  together,  and  the  Americans  resisted  it  with  all  their 

The  colonies  from  the  beginning  established  for  themselves 
in  each  province  a  legislative  assembly.  These  assemblies  were 
the  great  means  of  achieving  the  freedom  and  independence  of 
America;  and  for  ten  years  these  assemblies  and  the  people 
•continued  a  political  warfare  with  Great  Britain,  one  party  con- 
tending [for  despotism  and  the  other  for  the  rights  and  privi- 
leges of  other  Britons.  It  was  at  last  recommended  by  the 
people  and  adopted  that  a  general  assembly  or  continental  con- 
gress of  all  the  colonies  should  convene  at  Philadelphia.  The 
object  of  this  congress  and  their  constituents  was  not  indepen- 
dence; but  to  petition  the  Government  of  Great  Britain  for  a 
redress  of  their  grievances.  No  one  in  that  body  thought  of 

This  continental  congress,  the  first  ever  convened  in  America, 
met  in  Philadelphia  on  the  5th  Sept.,  1774.  This  assembly 
contained  some  of  the  greatest  men  that  ever  figured  in  the 
actions  of  men.  In  it  there  were  a  few  above  fifty  members, 
elected  from  the  different  colonies.  Peyton  Randolph  was 
•elected  president  and  Charles  Thompson  secretary.  In  this 


assembly  were  George  Washington,  John  Adams,  Roger  Sher- 
man, Patrick  Henry,  Richard  Bland,  Benjamin  Harrison,  Edward 
Pendleton,  John  Jay,  Silas  Deane,  John  Rutledge,  Sam'l  Adams, 
Thomas  Mcfceon,  and  a  host  of  others  of  equal  merit  and  noto- 
riety— all  known  to  fame. 

This  congress  was  composed  of  not  only  great  men,  but  also' 
of  moral,  pious  men.  On  the  6th  September,  it  was 

"Resolved,  That  the  Reverend  Mr.  Duche  be  desired  to  open 
the  congress  tomorrow  morning  with  prayers  at  the  Carpenter's 
Hall  at  nine  o'clock." 

"WEDNESDAY,  September  7,  1774,  9  o'clock  a.m. 
"Agreeable   to   the  resolve  of  yesterday,  the  meeting   was 
opened  with  prayers  by  the  Rev.  Mr.  Duche. 

"Voted,  That  the  thanks  of  the  Congress  be  given  to  Mr. 
Duche  by  Messrs.  Gushing  and  Ward  for  the  performance  of 
divine  service  and  for  the  excellent  prayer  which  he  composed 
and  delivered  on  the  occasion." 

These  proceedings  prove  that  this  assembly  entertained  the 
proper  respect  for  morality  and  religion ;  and  they  also  estab- 
lished the  fact  that  they  were  much  pleased  with  the  prayer  of 
Mr.  Duche. 

This  congress  made  a  short  session.  They  petitioned  the 
crown  for  the  redress  of  grievances  and  made  an  address  to  the 
people  of  the  colonies.  They  also  recommended  the  meeting 
of  another  congress. 

The  following  is  the  census  of  the  colonies,  in  Sept.,  1774: 


Massachusetts,  400,000 

New  Hampshire,  -       150,000 

Rhode  Island,  95,678 

Connecticut,     -  192,000 

New  York,  250,000 

New  Jersey,      -  -       130,000 

Pennsylvania  (including  lower  counties),    320,000 
Virginia,      -  650  ooo 

N.  Carolina,      -  300,000 

S.  Carolina,  225,000 

Total,  -  -  -  3,025,678 


I  presume  the  above  census  included  the  colored  population 
as  well  as  white.  It  may  be  presumed  that  the  above- census 
is,  at  least,  not  low,  but,  perhaps,  enlarged  to  some  extent.  It 
appears  from  the  proceedings  of  this  congress  that  Georgia 
took  no  part  in  the  movement. 

Another  continental  congress  convened  at  Philadelphia  on 
the  5th  of  September,  1775,  but  not  a  sufficient  number  of 
members  to  do  business  were  in  attendance.  They  adjourned 
to  the  1 3th.  To  this  congress  Georgia  sent  members.  This 
assembly  also  contained  great  and  wise  statesmen.  Gen.  Wash- 
ington had  been  appointed  by  the  previous  congress  to  be 
"commander-in-chief  of  all  the  troops  raised"  and  "to  be  raised 
in  North  America,"  but  the  great  philosopher  and  statesman, 
Thomas  Jefferson,  was  returned  in  his  place.  Washington  was 
appointed  to  the  command  of  the  army  on  the  loth  May,  1775. 

The  contention  between  Great  Britain  and  her  colonies  was 
so  much  widened  toward  the  close  of  the  year  1775,  that  every 
discerning  man  in  America  saw  at  once  that  the  case  was  inde- 
pendence of  Great  Britain  or  a  slavish  subjection  to  her  des- 
potism. This  congress  was  occupied  in  preparing  the  country 
for  defence,  rather  than  presenting  petitions  to  the  king. 

This  assembly  voted  to  raise  twenty  thousand  troops  for 
defence  and  three  millions  of  dollars  with  which  to  prosecute 
the  war.  The  nation  was  preparing  for  the  terrible  conflict  to 
be  freemen  or  slaves,  and  this  to  be  decided  by  the  force  of 

This  congress  adjourned,  and  the  most  memorable  assem- 
blage of  men  that  perhaps  ever  existed  convened  at  Philadel- 
phia in  the  year  1776.  This  year  is  so  intimately  connected 
with  liberty  that  it  will  be  respected  and  admired  so  long  as 
liberty  and  freedom  exist  on  earth.  Thomas  Jefferson,  a  mem- 
ber from  Virginia  whose  extraordinary  fame  and  character  is 
known  all  over  the  earth,  drafted  the  celebrated  Declaration  of 
Independence,  and  on  the  4th  July,  1776,  it  passed  the  con- 
gress and  was  signed  by  all  the  members.  This  declaration 
with  the  force  of  arms  made  the  colonies  a  free  nation. 

After  a  most  bitter  struggle  of  seven  years,  Great  Britain 
acknowledged  the  independence  of  the  United  States  and 
agreed  to  the  treaty  of  peace,  signed  at  Paris  Sept.  3d,  1783. 


During  the  Revolutionary  War,  a  most  singular  character 
arose,  whose  actions  were  excessively  bold  and  energetic. 
Paulette  Maillet,  which  is  pronounced  Mia,  was  born  at  Macki- 
nac,  in  the  year  1753,  of  French  parents,  and,  like  Othello, 
from  his  tender  years  he  "used  his  dearest  action  in  the  tented 
field,"  and  he  knew  little  of  the  world,  "except  what  pertains 
to  feats  and  broil  of  battle."  He  was  an  Indian  trader,  and 
roamed  over  the  country  toward  the  sources  of  the  Mississippi 
and  the  Rocky  Mountains.  He  was  raised  and  lived  out  of 
the  pale  of  civilization.  He  possessed  an  extraordinary  strong 
mind  and  a  kind  of  singular  ferocity  of  courage. 

He  founded,  in  the  year  1778,  the  new  town  of  Peoria  which 
occupied  the  site  of  the  present  city  of  that  name.  The  old 
village  was  a  mile  and  a-half  up  the  lake  from  the  present  city. 
This  new  village  was  often  called  Le  Ville  a  Maillet.  The 
Indian  traders  and  others  settled  around  Maillet  and  made  a 
village  at  the  outlet  of  the  lake. 

He  heard  of  the  defeat  of  Thomas  Brady  of  Cahokia  by 
the  British  and  Indians,  in  the  fall  of  the  year  1777,  at  St. 
Joseph  on  the  east  side  of  Lake  Michigan  and  was  determined 
to  avenge  it.  He  had  relatives  and  acquaintances  in  the  expe- 
dition conducted  by  Brady,  and  some  of  them  were  killed, 
which  roused  him  into  a  great  rage  to  have  satisfaction.  The 
next  year,  1778,  Maillet  called  on  his  legions,  who  were  always 
ready  to  serve  him,  for  support  to  take  the  British  fort  at  St. 
Joseph  and  to  revenge  the  death  of  his  friends.  This  was  not 
made  in  vain.  About  three  hundred  warriors,  white,  mixed, 
and  red,  assembled  under  his  standard.  In  this  corps  were 
many  of  the  most  respectable  citizens  who  marched  with  Mail- 
let  for  the  relief  of  their  countrymen,  who  were  taken  pris- 
oners the  previous  year  while  under  the  command  of  Brady. 

The  Indians  joined  the  expedition  for  plunder  and  friendship 
for  Maillet.  They  started  from  Peoria  and  marched  on  foot 
to  St.  Joseph.  On  the  march  in  the  hot  prairies,  exhausted 
with  fatigue  and  not  much  to  eat,  one  of  Maillet's  men,  M. 
Amlin,  gave  out  and  was  unable  to  travel.  Maillet  had  no 
time  to  spare,  and  no  provisions  except  a  scanty  supply  of 
dried  meat  packed  on  their  backs,  and  if  the  British  garrison 
knew  of  their  approach  their  defeat  was  certain.  This  great 


savage  warrior  coolly  and  deliberately  took  his  tomahawk  and 
sunk  it  deep  into  the  brains  of  the  exhausted  soldier.  This 
was  savage  and  ferocious;  there  is  some  palliation  for  it  but 
no  justification.  The  object  of  the  expedition  would  be 
defeated  if  the  utmost  secrecy  and  celerity  were  not  practised. 
If  the  sick  man  was  left  he  might  perish  or  give  notice  of  the 
campaign.  Maillet  may  have  performed  this  act  to  impress 
his  followers  with  fear  and  dread  of  him.  He  had  with  him 
rather  a  piratical  crew,  and  if  severe  and  decisive  measures 
were  not  practised  on  them,  the  expedition  must  have  failed. 
It  was  a  bold  and  decisive  stroke  that  few  men  would  have  the 
nerve  to  perform. 

After  this  decisive  act,  Maillet's  men  marched  under  his 
standard  with  vigor;  and  they  fought  the  British  garrison  like 
tigers.  They  captured  the  fort  altho  defended  by  British 
troops  and  cannon.  The  party  took  all  the  stores  of  the 
Indian  goods,  whfch  amounted  to  fifty  thousand  dollars;  they 
permitted  the  British  to  retire  to  Canada  in  peace.  The 
wounded  men  of  Brady's  party  were  safely  returned  to  Caho- 
kia  and  thus  the  expedition  of  Maillet  ended. 

Maillet  was  of  a  strange  composition  and  had  a  strong, 
uncultivated  mind;  but  a  great  preponderance  of  courage  and 
savage  combativeness.  He  at  last  lost  his  life  by  this  trait  of 
character.  In  Peoria,  in  the  year  1805,  he  had  an  affray  with 
a  Frenchman  called  Senegal.  Maillet,  still  accustomed  to  use 
violence  to  obtain  victory,  was  shot  dead  by  Senegal. 

Another  singular  character  arose  above  the  horizon  in  Illi- 
nois in  the  year  1779.  Dominique  Ducharme  was  a  Canadian 
and  an  Indian  trader.  He  was  another  of  this  class  of  North- 
western traders  who  possessed  great  talents,  extraordinary 
energy,  and  indomitable  courage.  He  lived  at  intervals  in 
Cahokia  and  had  a  brother  residing  there.  Ducharme  was 
habituated  to  the  savage  life  and  had  unbounded  influence 
over  the  Indians  from  Lake  Superior  to  the  Falls  t>f  St.  An- 
thony, and  down  toward  the  Illinois  River.  He  obtained  a 
supply  of  Indian  goods  at  Mackinac,  and  contrary  to  Spanish 
regulations,  he  entered  the  Missouri  River  to  trade  with  the 
natives  in  the  Spanish  dominions.  He  had  proceeded  up  the 
Missouri  some  distance,  when  a  party  of  Spanish  soldiers  from 


St.  Louis  with  an  officer  in  a  barge  overtook  them  and  capt- 
ured his  boat,  goods,  and  all  except  himself.  He  made  his 
escape  with  only  his  gun  and  his  life. 

St.  Louis  was  the  Spanish  post  from  which  the  armament 
proceeded  that  captured  Ducharme's  boat  and  merchandise. 
This  made  him  swear  vengeance  against  this  post.  All  wrinter 
he  was  active  in  raising  his  savage  friends  for  an  attack  on  St. 
Louis.  His  war-whoop  was  heard  from  Lake  Superior  to  the 
Falls  of  St.  Anthony,  and  down  to  Rock  River,  and  fifteen 
hundred  warriors  responded  to  the  call.  The  British  garrison 
at  Mackinac  furnished  a  few  regular  soldiers  and  some  Cana- 
dians to  join  Ducharme. 

With  these  forces  Ducharme  made  arrangements  to  capture 
St.  Louis  on  the  26th  of  May,  1780.  He  made  the  assault, 
and  killing  as  many  as  appeased  his  wrath,  he  withdrew  his 
red  warriors  and  abandoned  the  massacre.  It  is  said  that 
when  Ducharme  and  his  Indians  saw  many  of  their  old  friends 
dead,  their  anger  turned  into  sorrow  and  they  withdrew  to 
their  wigwams  in  the  North.  The  year  of  this  attack  on  St. 
Louis,  1780,  was  known  afterward  as  "L'anne  u'u  coup!" 

It  is  astonishing  the  great  influence  Ducharme  had  over  the 
Indians.  The  British  joined  in,  as  Spain  and  Great  Britain 
were  then  at  war;  but  the  British  acted  a  subordinate  part  to 
Ducharme  in  this  matter.  It  was  Ducharme's  campaign,  not 
the  British. 

In  the  fall  of  1780,  La  Balme,  a  native  of  France,  organized 
an  expedition  from  Kaskaskia  to  capture  Detroit.  He  marched 
from  Kaskaskia  with  twenty  or  thirty  men;  at  Vincennes  they 
engaged  a  few  more.  He  moved  up  the  Wabash  to  the  British 
trading-post,  Ke-ki-ong-a,  at  the  head  of  the  Maumee,  and 
destroyed  the  place.  After  securing  the  plunder,  he  marched 
to  the  river  Aboite,  and  while  encamped,  a  party  of  Miami 
Indians  attacked  his  troops  in  the  night  and  killed  him  and 
dispersed  the  balance. 

The  expedition  must  have  been  rather  of  the  privateering 
order  than  regular  war.  The  celebrated  Col.  Clark  was  on 
the  Mississippi,  perhaps  at  Fort  Jefferson — now  the  Iron 
Banks — at  the  time  when  La  Balme  organized  his  party  to 
capture  Detroit,  and  if  a  regular  campaign  had  been  on  hand 
Clark  would  have  been  its  leader. 


Thomas  Hughes  from  the  western  part  of  Pennsylvania, 
visited  Illinois  in  the  year  1783  to  settle  in  the  country.  He 
made  a  tomahawk  improvement  on  Nine-mile  Creek  in  the 
present  county  of  Randolph.  He  returned  for  his  family  the 
next  year,  and  on  the  Ohio  River  near  Fort  Massac,  where 
they  landed  for  the  night,  the  Indians  attacked  the  boat,  killed 
Hughes  and  a  sucking  child  in  the  arms  of  its  mother,  and 
wounded  severely  the  mother  in  the  shoulder.  The  rest  of 
the  emigrants  escaped  down  the  river  in  the  boat  to  the  Iron 
Banks,  not  being  able  to  stem  the  current  of  the  Mississippi 
to  Kaskaskia.  This  defeat  interrupted  the  emigration  of  this 
family  for  many  years;  but  in  the  year  1797,  the  surviving 
children  of  Hughes,  together  with  the  widow  and  her  second 
husband,  Pillars,  as  she  had  married  again,  moved  to  the  coun- 
try and  located  in  Randolph  County  where  many  of  their 
descendants  reside  at  this  day.  The  child  spoken  of  above 
was  shot  thro  the  head  and  its  brains  scattered  over  the 
mother's  breast.  Such  is  the  barbarity  of  Indian  warfare. 

It  has  been  stated  that  the  French  population  of  Illinois 
commenced  to  decline  from  the  conquest  of  the  country  by 
the  British  in  the  year  1763,  and  the  villages  of  Fort  Char- 
tres  and  St.  Philip  were  at  this  time,  1783,  rapidly  declining. 
After  the  year  1800,  not  a  French  family  resided  in  either  of 
them.  The  other  French  villages  of  Illinois  are  fast  verging 
to  the  same  fate  of  their  extinct  neighbors.  Mr.  Everett  was 
the  only  inhabitant  of  the  village  of  St.  Philip  in  1803.  It  is 
almost  impossible  to  give  a  satisfactory  reason  for  the  decline 
and  fall  of  these  French  villages  in  Illinois. 

Both  the  Government  of  Great  Britain  and  the  United 
States  that  had  dominion  over  the  country,  permitted  the 
French  inhabitants  a  free  toleration  of  their  religion  and 
allowed  them  all  the  rights  and  privileges  of  other  citizens. 
And,  moreover,  grants  of  land  were  given  to  them  that  were 
denied  to  Americans  who  settled  in  the  country  after  the  year 
1788.  The  French  settlers  enjoyed  the  first  selections  of  the 
lands  in  the  country,  and  with  all  these  advantages  that  popu- 
lation has  in  all  the  settlements  declined,  and  in  some  locali- 
ties none  at  all  exist  where  once  were  populous  villages.  The 
French  population  will  not  reside  on  farms,  each  family  to 


itself,  like  the  Americans.  They  always  live  in  villages  where 
they  may  enjoy  their  social  pleasure.  The  church  also  induces 
them  to  settle  near  it  in  villages.  In  these  villages  the  inhabi- 
tants can  not  farm  to  the  same  advantage  as  those  living  on 
separate  plantations.  The  French  also  neglected  to  educate 
their  children.  This  is  another  heavy  drawback  against  them. 
It  seems  that  the  Creole  French  do  not  possess  that  indomit- 
able energy  of  character  that  the  Americans  so  eminently 
enjoy.  The  masses  of  the  French  are  unambitious  of  wealth 
or  office.  They  are  innocent  and  honest,  and  care  but  little 
for  the  future  if  the  present  is  prosperous  and  happy.  They 
do  not  trouble  themselves  with  that  restless  ambition  to  obtain 
wealth  and  power  that  frequently  renders  the  American  popu- 
lation extremely  unhappy.  This  course  of  conduct  and  life 
will,  of  necessity,  make  one  class  of  people  outreach  the  other 
in  the  race  for  wealth  and  worldly  advancement.  One  class  of 
people  will  be  the  most  efficient  and  will  extend  itself  through- 
out the  country;  while  the  other  race  will  at  least  remain  sta- 
tionary or  decline  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Americans.  Yet  it  is 
doubtful  which  race  is  the  most  happy.  Excessive,  restless, 
ungovernable  ambition,  such  as  actuates  the  American  popula- 
tion, does  not  produce  happiness — while  the  French  are  less 
actuated  by  ambition  and  have  less  energy,  they  enjoy  more 
of  the  calm  of  life  and  indulge  more  in  the  social  enjoyments 
which  I  believe  makes  them  a  happier  people  than  the  Ameri- 
cans; but  not  so  energetic. 

This  course  of  life  of  the  Creole  French  has  almost  entirely 
secured  them  from  any  infractions  of  the  penal  laws  of  the 
country.  Very  few  or  none  of  the  Creoles  were  ever  indicted 
for  the  crimes  the  law-books  style  maluin  in  se.  Not  one  to 
my  knowledge  was  ever  in  the  penitentiary  for  a  crime.  I 
believe  the  records  of  the  courts  in  Illinois  do  not  exhibit  an 
indictment  against  a  Creole  Frenchman  for  any  crime  higher 
than  keeping  his  grocery  open  on  a  prohibited  day  of  the 

In  the  year  1782,  the  Spanish  authorities  at  St.  Louis,  Upper 
Louisiana,  fitted  out  an  expedition  to  capture  the  same  British 
post,  St.  Joseph,  that  both  Brady  and  Maillet  had  before  taken, 
and  the  same  that  LaSalle  erected  in  1679.  It  is  known  that 


the  British  Government  retained  some  of  the  posts  in  the 
Northwest  after  the  treaty  of  1783  which  were  within  the 
limits  of  the  United  States.  This  fort  was  one  of  them.  It 
will  also  be  recollected  that  Spain  and  Great  Britain  were  at 
war  at  the  time.  A  company  commanded  by  a  Spanish  cap- 
tain with  sixty-five  men  marched  from  St.  Louis  across  the 
prairies  of  Illinois  and  captured  the  British  garrison  at  St. 

This  was  a  singular  expedition — not  known  whether  it  was 
against  the  British  or  to  seize  by  force  of  arms  some  of  the 
western  country  which  the  Spaniards  laid  claim  to,  as  they 
had  assisted  the  Americans  in  the  Revolution.  The  court  of 
Spain  urged  this  conquest  against  the  Americans  when  the 
Spaniards  contended  for  a  part  of  the  western  country.  The 
Spanish  captain  retained  possession  of  the  post  only  for  a  short 
time  and  returned  to  St.  Louis. 

About  this  time,  1783,  Cahokia  was  the  partial  residence  of 
many  Northwestern  Indian  traders.  Julien  Dubuque  made  it 
his  residence  before  he  established  himself  on  the  west  side  of 
the  Mississippi  near  the  present  city  of  Dubuque.  He  pur- 
chased of  the  Indians  the  lead-mines  to  which  his  name  was 
given,  situated  on  the  west  side  of  the  Mississippi,  22d  Sep- 
tember, 1788,  and  on  his  petition  to  the  Baron  de  Carondelet 
at  New  Orleans  on  the  loth  November,  1790,  these  mines  were 
granted  to  him.  This  tract  of  land  extends  on  the  river  six 
leagues  and  three  back. 

Dubuque's  grave  is  about  one  mile  below  the  city  of  Du- 
buque; and  was  by  the  Indians  held  in  great  veneration  while 
they  remained  in  the  country.  It  was  stated  by  the  Indian 
traders  that  the  Sauk  and  Fox  Indians  made  it  a  duty  of 
religion  to  visit  once  a  year  the  grave  of  Dubuque  and  per- 
form some  religious  ceremonies  over  it.  Every  visit  an  Indian 
made  to  the  grave,  he  cast  a  small  stone  on  it  in  honor  of  the 
deceased.  The  superstition  of  the  Indians  made  them  believe 
that  Dubuque  was  not  entirely  dead;  but  that  he  would  soon 
be  restored  to  life  and  be  their  guide  and  friend  again. 

William  Arundel,  a  merchant  from  Canada  and  an  Indian 
trader,  resided  in  Cahokia  before  the  year  1783,  and  had 
before  that  time  resided  in  or  near  Peoria.  He  was  an 


orderly,  moral,  correct  man  and  dealt  largely  in  lands.  He 
emigrated  from  Ireland  and  had  received  a  liberal  education. 
His  handwriting  for  a  long  series  of  years  may  be  seen  in  the 
various  offices  of  St.  Clair  and  Randolph  counties.  He  lived 
to  a  very  old  age  and  died  at  Kaskaskia  in  1816.  Thomas 
Brady  and  William  Arundel  were  the  only  two  persons  who 
were  not  French  that  resided  in  Cahokia  before  the  year  1788. 
Thomas  Brady  lived  in  Cahokia  for  many  years  and  was  sheriff 
of  St.  Clair  County  under  the  organization  of  Gov.  St.  Clair  in 
the  year  1790.  He  had  the  reputation  of  an  honest,  correct 
citizen;  and  I  believe  he  deserved  it. 

Capt.  McCarty  was  a  citizen  of  Cahokia  and  was  captain  of 
the  French  company  that  joined  the  standard  of  Col.  Clark  in 
February,  1779,  in  the  Revolution,  and  endured  the  fatigues 
and  perils  of  the  campaign  to  Vincennes  thro  high  water  and 
ice;  and  almost  in  a  starving  condition.  He  assisted  in  the 
conquest  of  Fort  Sackville  arid  Vincennes,  and  performed  his 
duty  there  to  the  satisfaction  of  Clark. 

Another  McCarty,  called  English  McCarty,  built  a  water- 
mill  on  the  Cahokia  Creek  about  three-quarters  of  a  mile 
northeast  of  the  present  Illinoistown.  He  expended  much 
money  and  time  on  this  mill,  and  did  not  obtain  any  great 
profit  in  return.  It  is  impossible  to  establish  on  such  streams 
as  Cahokia  Creek  mills  that  will  be  profitable  to  the  proprie- 
tors and  serviceable  to  the  public.  McCarty's  mill  was  large 
and  did  much  business  at  times;  but  the  banks  of  the  creek 
being  so  easily  washed  away,  the  dam  could  not  be  made  to 
stand.  The  vestages  of  this  mill  may  yet  be  seen  altho  it  was 
built  seventy  or  eighty  years  since.  McCarty  obtained  an 
improvement  right  of  four  hundred  acres  of  land  covering  his 
mill -site  which  is  worth  more  than  ten  times  as  much  as  his 
mill  ever  was.  McCarty  emigrated  to  Illinois  from  Canada 
and  left  no  heirs  in  the  West  to  enjoy  either  the  mill  or  his 

About  this  time,  a  water-mill  was  built  at  the  Falling 
Spring,  two  miles  southeast  of  Prairie  du  Pont.  The  French 
call  this  spring  L'eau  Tomb — which  gushes  out  of  a  perpendic- 
ular rock  of  the  Mississippi  Bluff  with  a  fall  of  sixty  or  eighty 
feet  to  the  bottow  below.  At  times  in  the  spring  a  great 


quantity  of  water  rushes  out  of  this  channel  in  the  rock  and 
the  fall  of  which  may  be  heard  for  several  miles.  A  mill  was 
constructed  at  these  falls  for  grinding  wheat.  A  kind  of 
trunk  or  hollow  log  conducted  the  water  to  the  wheel  of  the 
mill.  This  mill  was  small  and  at  this  day  not  a  trace  of  it 
remains  to  be  seen.  This  spring  is  rather  a  curiosity  and  is 
now  made  a  fashionable  watering-place  in  the  hot  days  of 
summer.  It  is  a  celebrated  site  of  picnic  parties,  and  the 
young  and  gay  assemble  there  in  the  summer  to  look  love  at 
each  other. 

The  first  water-mill  erected  in  this  section  of  the  country 
was  that  built  on  Prairie-du-Pont  Creek  by  the  Mission  of  St. 
Sulpice.  This  mill  was  the  nucleus  around  which  the  village 
of  Prairie  du  Pont  was  formed.  This  mill  and  settlement 
must  date  its  commencement  about  the  year  1754.  The  mill 
and  the  plantation  of  this  religious  society  were  in  fine  repair 
in  1764,  when  they  sold  out  to  M.  Gerardine  and  left  the  coun- 
try on  account  of  the  British  Government. 

A  wind-mill  was  erected  in  the  prairie,  two  miles  southeast 
of  Cahokia,  by  the  Jesuits  in  the  year  1744,  or  a  short  time 
before.  This  mill  also  declined  and  went  to  decay  about  the 
time  that  the  British  took  the  country  and  the  order  of  the 
Jesuits  was  suppressed.  Some  of  the  millstones  are  yet  lying 
in  the  prairie  where  the  mill  once  stood.  There  is  an  ancient 
graveyard  near  this  old  mill-site. 

Col.  Clark,  by  order  of  the  executive  of  Virginia,  in  the 
spring  of  1780,  left  Kaskaskia  to  establish  Fort  Jefferson  at 
the  Iron  Banks  on  the  east  side  of  the  Ohio  River,  some  dis- 
tance below  the  mouth.  It  became  necessary  for  Col.  Clark 
to  leave  Fort  Jefferson  and  return  direct  to  Kentucky.  This 
tour  he  performed  on  foot  with  only  one  man  with  him,  while 
the  Indians  were  numerous  and  extremely  hostile  in  the  sec- 
tion of  the  country  thro  which  he  was  obliged  to  travel.  He 
lay  by  in  the  daytime,  generally,  and  traveled  at  night.  He 
packed  his  gun,  provisions,  and  other  articles  indispensable  for 
his  journey,  on  his  back.  Tennessee  and  Cumberland  Rivers 
were  crossed  on  rafts.  When  out  in  the  current  of  these  rivers 
on  a  raft,  he  pulled  down  the  stream  for  a  mile  or  two  and 
then  landed.  He  feared  that  the  Indians  seeing  him  would 


place  themselves  at  the  bank  where  he  would  most  likely  land 
and  destroy  him  before  he  could  land  or  see  them.  By  row- 
ing down  the  stream,  the  enemy  could  not  keep  pace  with  him, 
he  being  in  the  current  of  the  river  and  they  on  the  shore. 
Thus  he  saved  his  life  and  reached  Kentucky  in  safety.  He 
was  appointed  by  Virginia,  brigadier-general  and  established 
his  headquarters  at  the  Falls  of  the  Ohio.  He  remained  in 
this  office  until  the  close  of  the  Revolutionary  War,  and  was 
disbanded  by  his  State,  because  the  country  was  about  that 
time  transferred  to  the  general  government,  and  thereby  Vir- 
ginia ceased  to  have  the  particular  defence  of  the  country  from 
Indian  depredations.  The  whole  country,  and  particularly  his 
native  State,  awarded  to  him  the  greatest  honor  and  thanks 
for  his  extraordinary  services  in  the  West. 

On  the  2d  July,  1783,  Benjamin  Harrison,  governor  of  Vir- 
ginia, wrote  to  General  Clark  a  letter  from  which  I  give  the 
following  extracts: 

"Before  I  take  leave  of  you,  I  feel  myself  called  upon,  in 
the  most  favorable  manner,  to  return  to  you  my  thanks  and 
those  of  my  council  for  the  very  great  and  singular  service 
you  have  rendered  your  country  in  wresting  so  great  and  valu- 
able territory  out  of  the  hands  of  the  British  enemy,  repelling 
the  attack  of  their  savage  allies,  and  carrying  on  a  successful 
war  in  the  heart  of  their  own  country.  This  tribute  of  praise 
and  thanks  so  justly  due,  I  am  happy  to  communicate  to  you 
as  the  united  voice  of  the  executive." 

On  or  before  the  year  1783,  there  were  in  Illinois  about 
forty-five  improvements  made  by  Americans  that  entitled  the 
owners  to  four  hundred  acres  of  land  under  the  act  of  Con- 
gress passed  1791.  This  act  granted  four  hundred  acres  of 
land  to  all  who  made  improvements  in  Illinois  prior  to  the 
year  1788,  except  in  villages. 

All  the  American  heads  of  families  amounted  to  seventy- 
five;  and  the  Americans  who  resided  in  the  country  on  or 
before  1791,  who  were  capable  of  bearing  arms  as  militia-men, 
were  only  sixty- five.  All  the  heads  of  families  in  the  coun- 
try, French  and  Americans,  who  received  donations  of  four 
hundred  acres  of  land,  were  two  hundred  and  forty-four.  All 
the  militia-men  amounted  to  about  three  hundred. 


It  is  very  near  correct  that  the  heads  of  families  in  Illinois 
being  two  hundred  and  forty-four  in  the  year  1788,  because 
each  head  of  a  family  received  a  donation  of  four  hundred 
acres  of  land,  which  would  induce  them  to  be  recognized 
before  the  proper  officers  to  obtain  their  lands.  The  public 
documents  of  the  government  state  the  above  number,  and  by 
estimating  each  family  at  an  average  to  have  five  members, 
the  whole  population  of  Illinois  in  the  year  1788  would  be 
twelve  hundred  and  twenty  souls.  It  might  reach  to  two 
thousand  by  counting  transient  persons  and  all  others. 

The  Indian  depredations  were  severe  on  the  Americans  in 
these  early  settlements  which  compelled  the  inhabitants  to 
erect  stations  or  block-house  forts  all  over  the  country  for 
their  protection.  Many  of  the  sites  of  these  stations  are 
almost  forgotten  at  this  time.  They  were  important  in  war 

A  block-house  was  erected  near  Bellefontaine  by  the  first 
emigrants  to  that  section  of  Illinois.  Another  was  established 
in  the  American  Bottom  by  Bond  and  his  followers  at  his  first 
residence  in  the  present  county  of  Monroe.  Another  station 
was  erected  by  the  Flannarys,  that  was  on  the  main  road  from 
Kaskaskia  to  Cahokia,  and  known  in  after-times  as  Whitesides' 
Station.  Another  was  built  by  James  Piggot  and  others,  that 
was  situated  at  the  foot  of  the  Mississippi  Bluff,  where  the 
small  creek,  the  Grand  Risseau,  so  called  by  the  French,  south 
of  Columbia,  runs  thro  the  bluff,  and  about  one  and  a-half 
miles  west  of  Columbia  in  Monroe  County.  Capt.  Nathaniel 
Hull  erected  one  including  his  residence,  also  at  the  foot  of 
the  Mississippi  Bluff  in  Monroe  County  about  twelve  miles 
southwest  of  Waterloo  and  above  the  Narrows. 

The  families  of  McElmuny  and  Flannary  built  a  station  fort 
as  early  as  the  year  1783,  on  the  Mississippi  opposite  the  Island 
22  in  the  present  county  of  Alexander  in  township  16,  south. 

These  settlements  were  composed  of  hunters  who  made 
small  improvements.  Some  of  them  may  have  been  those 
who  met  Col.  Clark  in  the  year  1778  near  Fort  Massac.  These 
inhabitants  left  the  country  long  before  1800,  and  scarcely  a 
trace  of  their  settlements  could  be  discovered  at  this  date. 
Beshears  erected  a  fort  in  the  American  Bottom,  south  of 


Bond's,  near  section  18  in  township  3,  south  range  11,  west. 
Golden  erected  another  in  the  same  neighborhood  near  sec- 
tion 24.  No  traces  of  these  stations  are  visible  at  this  time. 

A  block-house  fort  was  generally  a  defence  against  Indian 
attacks.  The  lowest  order  of  these  forts  was  a  single  house, 
built  strong,  and  a  story  and  a-half  or  two  stories  high.  The 
lower  story  was  provided  with  port-holes  to  shoot  thro,  and 
also  with  strong  puncheon  doors,  three  or  four  inches  thick, 
with  strong  bars  to  prevent  the  Indians  from  entering.  The 
second  story  projected  over  the  first,  three  or  four  feet  and 
had  holes  in  the  floor,  outside  the  lower  story,  to  shoot  down 
at  the  Indians  attempting  to  enter. 

A  higher  grade  of  pioneer  fortifications  were  four  large, 
strong  block-houses  fashioned  as  above  and  erected  at  the  four 
corners  of  a  square  lot  of  ground  as  large  as  the  necessities  of 
the  people  required.  The  intervals  between  these  block- 
houses were  filled  up  with  large  timbers  placed  deep  in  the 
ground  and  extending  twelve  or  fifteen  feet  above  the  surface. 
Within  these  stockades  were  cabins  built  for  the  families  to 
reside  in.  A  well  of  water  or  spring  was  generally  found  to 
be  necessary  in  these  forts.  In  dangerous  times,  so  called,  the 
horses  were  admitted  in  the  forts  during  the  night  for  safe- 
keeping. Dogs,  cats,  etc.,  as  a  matter  of  course,  remained 
with  their  owners.  The  cattle  and  milch  cbws  were  not  often 
admitted.  Generally  two  strong  gates  were  made  to  these 
garrisons  with  bars  in  proportion  to  secure  the  doors  against 
the  red-skins.  Port-holes  were  cut  in  the  stockade  above  the 
head  and  platforms  raised  to  stand  on  to  shoot. 

It  was  never  neglected  to  clear  off  the  timber  near  these 
forts  or  build  them  in  the  prairie;  so  that  the  enemy  might 
not  conceal  himself  behind  the  trees,  brush,  etc.  In  the  morn- 
ings it  was  dangerous  at  times  to  open  these  gates  and  go  out. 
Many  times  the  Indians  attacked  the  milking  parties  and 
others  first  going  out  of  the  fort.  Sentinels  were  sometimes 
kept  up  all  night  like  a  regular  garrison. 

Altho  this  backwoods  life  made  the  people  friendly  as 
brothers;  yet  at  times  the  injunction  of  the  Scriptures  "to 
love  thy  neighbor  as  thyself"  was  forgotten.  It  must  be 
recollected  that  in  these  forts  the  party  was  not  select,  as  the 


emigrants  occupying  the  forts  came  from  all  parts  of  the 
Union  and  some  from  Europe;  so  that  a  mixture  of  all  sorts 
was  frequently  crowded  together  in  these  garrisons.  Some- 
times the  rights  of  property  were  not  respected.  This  was 
often  the  ground  of  quarrels.  It  must  also  be  recollected  that 
no  regular  courts  of  law  existed  in  the  country  in  these  times. 
The  mothers  of  children  could  not  see,  as  they  said,  "their 
children  imposed  on,"  and  if  they  possessed  red  hair  and  thin 
lips,  generally  a  battle  of  words  ensued.  Sometimes  the  un- 
wise and  irritable  husbands  enlisted  in  these  petticoat  squab- 
bles. At  times  a  rude  boy  would  throw  clods  of  dirt  into 
another  boy's  victuals  and  then  run  to  his  mother  for  protec- 
tion, informing  her  that  "the  bad  boy  was  just  going  to  whip 
him;"  and  the  mother,  nine  times  out  of  ten,  believed  her  dar- 
ling child.  But  the  most  prolific  source  of  trouble  in  these 
forts  arose  out  of  the  violation  of  the  seventh  commandment. 
The  territory  within  the  walls  of  these  garrisons  was  so  limited 
that  Venus  had  no  shady  groves  or  sweet-scented  bowers  in 
which  to  open  her  court;  so  that  her  votaries  had  no  suitable 
shrine  in  which  to  adore  that  godess.  Detection  suddenly  fol- 
lowed the  act  and  the  injured  party  made  the  fort  resound 
with  fume,  froth,  and  female  thunder.  For  those  not  particu- 
larly concerned  these  love  broils  were  a  source  of  much  amuse- 
ment. Some  would  remark:  "How  he  run  when  he  saw  his 
wife  coming."  Others  would  say:  "The  lady  looked  beauti- 
ful." But  the  grave  old  ladies  and  old  aunts  with  spectacles 
on  would  raise  their  eyes  in  pious  detestation  of  the  crime  and 
exclaim:  "Oh!  the  sins  of  the  world!  It  is  no  wonder  we 
have  an  Indian  war  upon  us." 

These  troubles  were  generally  hushed  up  after  the  proper 
amount  of  female  tears  were  shed  and  male  sorrows  displayed 
by  solemn  promises  made  by  the  husbands  "not  to  do  so  any 
more."  Then  they  "kissed  and  made  friends." 

In  these  forts,  like  other  communities,  were  frequently  excel- 
lent, moral,  pious  people;  and  sermons  were  often  preached 
in  them  that  would  do  honor  to  Christianity  in  any  country. 
Family  worship  was  kept  by  some;  while  dice,  cards,  or  other 
games  for  amusement  were  indulged  in  by  others  in  the  even- 


The  most  danger  was  from  the  Indians  when  the  families 
left  the  fort  for  their  homes  in  the  neighborhood.  They 
found  their  houses,  yards,  and  fields  out  of  repair  and  the 
grass  grown  over  the  yards;  so  that  all  wore  a  dismal  appear- 
ance; and,  perhaps,  the  blood  yet  on  the  floor  or  yard  where  a 
member  of  the  family  had  been  killed  by  the  Indians  before 
they  moved  into  the  fort. 

Sometimes  these  garrisons  were  attacked  by  the  Indians  and 
then  was  human  thunder  displayed  in  all  its  various  forms  and 
shapes.  The  Indians  yelling,  whooping,  and  firing  into  the 
fort  from  the  outside,  while  the  inside  was  energy  and  activity 
in  the  highest  degree. 

The  commander,  dressed  in  moccasons  and  hunting- shirt, 
with  his  rifle  in  hand,  gave  his  orders  in  such  a  cool,  dignified 
manner  that  soon  quieted  the  first  uproar  of  the  women  and 
children  and  placed  every  soldier  at  his  proper  post.  Such 
men  as  these  could  not  be  conquered.  Perhaps  many  of  the 
same  men  who  defended  these  forts  possessed  the  talents,  in 
peace  times,  to  fill  the  highest  offices  in  the  gift  of  the  people. 
These  trials  and  dangers  developed  their  minds  and  educated 
them  to  grace  the  highest  stations  in  the  country. 

It  is  not  an  idle  story  that  the  females  in  these  forts  run 
bullets  and  did  other  services  in  defence  of  the  garrisons  in 
time  of  Indian  attacks. 

By  habit  and  experience  in  these  times  of  difficulties  with 
the  Indians,  all  the  pioneers,  male  and  female,  became  accus- 
tomed to  the  use  of  the  rifle  in  self-defence;  and  on  many 
occasions  saved  themselves  and  families  from  destruction  by 
these  means. 

About  this  time,  1788,  a  singular  tragedy  occurred  at  Peoria. 
An  Indian  trader,  Louis  La  Vossiere,  resided  at  Peoria  and  was 
a  singular  high-toned  Frenchman  from  France.  He  was  fitted 
for  the  ages  of  chivalry  more  than  for  the  grovelling  times  of 
money-making.  The  same  Paulette  Maillet,  as  he  believed, 
was  too  well  acquainted  with  his  wife,  and  thereby  La  Vossiere 
became  diseased  of  a  kind  of  mania.  He  was  determined  to 
put  an  end  to  his  existence.  That  he  might  do  this  in  an  hon- 
orable, chivalric  manner  and  with  his  friends,  he  decided  on 
having  a  splendid  dinner;  and  when  all  were  in  perfect  happi- 


ness  and  being  ethereal  with  wine,  to  fire  a  quantity  of  powder 
prepared  for  the  purpose  in  the  cellar  under  the  table,  and  all 
to  go  off  in  a  frolic  together. 

He  prepared  the  dinner,  wine,  and  powder  and  called  in  his 
friends.  The  feast  for  a  while  went  on  well.  The  dinner  over 
and  the  wine  going  round  in  floods,  when  his  guests  perceived 
something  strange,  and  just  before  the  powder  was  fired  off 
they  had  retired  barely  far  enough  away  to  save  their  lives, 
while  La  Vossiere  was  killed  by  the  explosion.  He  left  two 
children  who  are  yet  alive.  His  widow  married  her  paramour, 
Maillet,  whose  fate  is  before  narrated. 

It  is  the  great  misfortune  of  all  new  countries  that  there  are 
no  means  of  educating  the  children.  This  was  the  case  with 
Illinois  from  its  earliest  settlements  by  the  French  and  for  one 
hundred  years  after.  The  Jesuits  at  Kaskaskia  had  some  kind 
of  a  religious  institution  of  learning  established  in  the  year 
1720,  but  the  children  had  no  schools  at  ail,  or  scarcely  any, 
wherein  they  could  receive  a  common  education.  It  is  true, 
the  clergy  attended  particularly  to  the  learning  of  the  children 
the  catechism  and  other  religious  teaching,  but  not  much  more 
was  given  to  the  youth  of  that  day.  It  was  not  the  custom  of 
the  times,  and  thereby  this  essential  ingredient  of  man's  happi- 
ness was  almost  entirely  neglected.  There  is  much  excuse  for 
the  omission  of  schools  in  early  times  with  the  Americans,  and 
almost  a  justification  of  it. 

The  people  were,  almost  all  of  them,  poor,  and  the  hostile 
Indians  were  always  pressing  danger  and  death  on  the  frontier 
settlers.  In  many  instances  the  school-houses  were  guarded 
and  the  children  on  going  to  and  returning  from  school  were 
in  danger  all  the  time.  Schools  to  exist  under  such  circum- 
stances were  out  of  the  question.  Thus  it  was,  the  greater 
portion  of  the  people  raised  on  the  frontiers  received  no  book 
education.  But  this  defect,  to  a  great  degree,  was  remedied 
by  the  circumstances  of  the  country.  As  it  has  already  been 
stated  that  the  dangers,  perils,  and  troubles  of  various  kinds 
which  are  experienced  by  pioneers  in  settling  a  new  country, 
and  that  country  in  a  war  with  the  Indians,  will  develop  and 
improve  the  mind.  The  inhabitants  must  become  active  and 
energetic  in  self-defence.  Reflection  and  action  will  both  be 


forced  on  the  people  in  such  situation,  and  thus  they  become 
wise  and  energetic  men.  They  can  not  make  a  display  in 
literature,  but  they  possess  wisdom  and  practical  common- 
sense  which  is  far  preferable. 

The  frontier  inhabitants  raised  in  adversity  have  more  prac- 
tical sense  than  those  living  in  the  old  settlements.  One  race 
have  their  minds  always  in  action;  while  the  other  indulges  in 
a  lifeless  monotony. 

A  mixture  of  book  education  and  backwoods  activity  pro- 
duces the  greatest  race  of  men.  Education  by  means  of 
schools  or  otherwise  must  be  extended  to  all  classes  of  citizens 
in  this  Republic,  or  otherwise  it  is  impossible  to  maintain  a 
free  government. 

The  system  of  Sunday-schools  is  among  the  greatest-  dis- 
coveries of  human  wisdom.  The  great  man,  R.  Raikes,  who 
first  put  this  machinery  in  operation,  should  be  hailed  all  over 
the  world  as  "the  poor  man's  friend,  the  kindest  and  the  best." 
The  children  of  the  wealthy  can  always  obtain  an  education; 
but  it  is  the  poor  and  the  humble  that  this  system  accommo- 
dates and  relieves  from  ignorance  and  oppression.  The  benev- 
olent and  the  charitable  have  the  time  and  power  on  the  Sab- 
bath to  attend  in  the  schools  and  instruct  the  children  in 
morality  and  the  Scriptures.  Nothing  can  be  so  pleasing  to 
the  heart  of  a  good  man  or  woman  as  to  instruct  the  children 
to  pursue  that  course  of  life  which  will  make  them  good  and 
happy.  On  this  earth  a  more  dignified  and  pleasing  sight  can 
not  be  seen  than  a  talented  and  accomplished  lady  having  her 
flock  of  little  girls  and  boys  with  her  going  to  the  Sunday- 
school.  These  groups  having  with  them  the  sacred  writing  to 
teach  them  happiness  here  on  earth  and  at  the  close  of  life  the 
way  to  heaven  will  be  ready  to  open  to  those  that  are  happy 

Sunday-schools  must  be  regulated  by  wisdom.  The  proper 
books  and  the  proper  teachers  must  be  provided,  or  otherwise 
they  will  be  a  curse  rather  than  a  blessing  to  mankind.  This 
is  the  case  with  all  systems  of  education  or  teachings.  To 
educate  the  heads  of  children  and  leave  their  hearts  unin- 
structed  in  morality  and  honesty,  is  doing  mankind  an  injury 
and  harm.  Science  and  literature  without  morality  and  hon- 


esty  will  be  a  curse  to  the  human  family.  Sunday-schools  will 
aid  in  the  education  of  the  heart  to  a  great  extent. 

The  female  children  deserve  more  the  attention  of  the  public 
in  theii  education  than  the  males.  It  is  the  mother  who  first 
gives  their  tender  offspring  the  leading  bent  of  mind.  The 
infant  around  its  mother  receives  its  first  impressions.from  her, 
which  may  govern  it  thro  life.  How  difficult  it  is  to  discard 
early  impressions.  If  they  are  good  and  received  from  a  kind- 
mother  they  are  calculated  to  make  the  person  happy  thro  life. 

The  legislature  should  do  something  to  advance  the  cause 
of  Sunday-schools.  The  teachers  might  be  paid,  books  and 
rooms  provided  for  the  schools  at  the  public  expense.  No- 
money  could  be  expended  to  do  as  much  good,  if  it  were 
properly  applied,  as  to  advance  the  Sunday-school  system. 

James  Piggot,  John  Doyle,  Robert  Whitehead,  and  Mr. 
Bowen  were  soldiers  in  the  expedition  under  Colonel  Clark  in 
the  year  1778,  and  soon  after  the  campaign  settled  in  Illinois. 
Doyle  had  a  family  and  resided  in  or  near  Kaskaskia.  He 
was  something  of  a  scholar  and  taught  school.  He  spoke 
French  and  Indian  and  was  frequently  employed  as  an  inter- 
preter of  those  languages  into  the  English.  He  was  unambi- 
tious and  lived  and  died  without  much  wealth.  He  was  con- 
sidered an  honest  man  and  was  always  respected  while  alive — 
as  he  is  now,  when  dead — as  one  of  the  brave  men  who  assisted 
Col.  Clark  in  the  conquest  of  Illinois. 

Bowen  and  Whitehead  were  both  correct  men.  Whitehead 
raised  a  large  family  and  lived  to  an  advanced  age.  Bowen 
lived  single  and  received  a  pension  as  a  Revolutionary  soldier. 

All  these  soldiers  of  the  Revolution,  Biggs,  Piggot,  Kidd, 
Rutherford,  Doyle,  Whitehead,  Bowen,  and  others  who  aided 
in  the  conquest  of  Illinois  under  the  celebrated  Col.  Clark, 
performed  services  for  their  country  that  entitle  them  to  the 
gratitude  and  respect  of  a  people  who  are  now  enjoying  the 
harvest  of  their  labors.  Under  any  circumstances  a  brave  sol- 
dier of  the  Revolution  is  entitled  to  much  honor  and  gratitude. 
The  conquest  of  Illinois  under  the  perilous  and  dangerous  cir- 
cumstances attending  it  entitles  those  brave  men  who  achieved 
it  the  highest  honor  that  man  can  bestow  on  them. 

During  the  Revolution,  Mr.  Huff  and  family  left  the  Monon- 


gahela  country  in  Western  Pennsylvania  for  Illinois.  He  had 
married  a  widow  Murdoch,  who  had  three  sons  with  the  party. 
This  emigrating  party  was  tolerably  strong  and  had  prepared 
and  fortified  their  boat.  They  started  from  Red  Stone,  Old 
Fort,  so  called  in  those  days,  where  the  town  of  Brownsville 
was  built-in  the  year  1786.  On  the  Mississippi  near  the  Grand 
Tower,  while  encamped  for  the  night,  the  Indians  attacked  the 
party  and  killed  Mrs.  Huff,  one  of  her  sons,  and  some  others. 
The  survivors  retreated  in  the  boat  and  thus  saved  themselves. 
Mrs.  Huff  was  mangled  in  a  shocking  manner  before  the  eyes 
of  her  husband  and  family.  She  was  cut  open  and  quartered 
and  the  Indians  drank  her  blood.  This  was  the  reason  that 
her  son,  John  Murdoch,  who  was  a  very  conspicuous  char- 
acter in  the  early  times  of  Illinois,  swore  vengeance  against  all 
Indians,  and  could  scarcely  be  restrained  from  killing  them  in 
time  of  peace  as  well  as  in  war. 

The  party  came  on  to  the  American  Bottom  and  settled 
there.  Mr.  Huff,  only  a  few  years  after,  was  killed  by  the  Ind- 
ians on  the  road  between  Prairie  du  Rocher  and  Kaskaskia. 
His  watch  and  some  other  articles  were  found,  many  years 
after,  where  he  had  been  killed. 

Toward  the  close  of  the  Revolutionary  war,  many  American 
families  settled  in  Kaskaskia.  Ichabod  and  George  Camp  first 
resided  in  Kaskaskia,  and  afterward  made  improvements  on 
the  high  land  west  of  the  Kaskaskia  River,  on  a  stream  called 
Camp's  Creek.  They  afterward  moved  to  St.  Louis  and  resided 
at  what  is  now  called  Camp  Spring,  west  of  that  city.  They 
gave  the  name  to  that  spring. 

John  and  Israel  Dodge  resided  in  Kaskaskia;  so  did  John 
Cook  and  Jacob  Judy  and  their  families. 

Israel  Dodge  was  the  father  of  Hon.  Henry  Dodge,*  the  pres- 

*  Gov.  Dodge  represented  the  State  of  Wisconsin  after  its  admission  to  the  Federal 
Union,  as  one  of  its  first  senators  in  congress  from  1848-51;  at  the  expiration  of  the 
first  term  he  was  reelected  and  served  a  second  term,  ending  in  1857,  when  having 
been  continuously  in  public  life  for  a  period  of  more  than  fifty  years,  he  retired  to  a 
well-deserved  rest,  making  his  home  with  his  son,  Gen.  A.  C.  Dodge,  in  Burlington, 
Iowa,  where  he  departed  this  life,  full  of  years  and  honors,  June  19,  1867. 

Gen.  Augustus  C.  Dodge,  son  of  Gov.  Henry  Dodge,  had  a  career  of  no  less 
interest  than  that  of  his  honored  sire.  Born  in  Ste.  Genevieve,  Missouri,  in  1812,  he 
received  the  best  tuition  the  country  afforded,  which  was  but  spare.  He  removed 


ent  senator  in  congress  from  the  State  of  Wisconsin.  The 
father  had  resided  at  the  Iron  Banks  and  was  on  his  way  from 
there  by  Vincennes  to  Kentucky,  and  at  Vincennes  Henry 
Dodge  was  born,  in  the  year  1777.  Israel  Dodge  resided  with 
his  family  for  several  years  at  Kaskaskia,  while  Henry  com- 
posed part  of  his  family.  The  Dodge  family  left  Kaskaskia 
about  the  year  1790,  and  resided  in  upper  Louisiana. 

Henry  Dodge  was  raised  in  a  new  country,  where  the  oppor- 
tunities for  education  were  almost  entirely  denied  the  children 
whose  fathers  had  not  the  means  to  send  them  abroad  ;  and 
the  society,  sixty  or  seventy  years  ago,  about  Kaskaskia  and 
Ste.  Genevieve,  where  young  Dodge  was  raised,  was  not  cele- 
brated for  its  morality;  but  Dodge  steered  clear  of  the  vices 

with  his  father  some  years  later  to  the  neighborhood  of  the  lead-mines  in  the  territory 
of  Wisconsin,  where  he  remained  until  1838,  when  he  settled  in  what  afterward 
became  the  State  of  Iowa,  in  the  City  of  Burlington.  He  rendered  valuable  services 
in  the  Black- Hawk  War,  attaining  the  rank  of  brigadier-general.  He  was  the  first 
delegate  to  represent  the  territory  of  Iowa  in  the  United  States  congress,  a  position 
to  which  he  was  a  second  time  elected.  He  was  one  of  Iowa's  first  United  States 
senators,  serving  from  1848-55.  At  the  expiration  of  his  term  as  senator,  he  was 
appointed  by  President  Buchanan  as  minister  to  the  court  of  Spain.  On  his  return 
to  Burlington  from  Madrid,  he  retired  to  private  life  and,  except  serving  a  few  terms 
as  mayor  of  the  city  and  the  filling  of  a  few  minor  positions  of  trust,  he  never  again 
entered  the  political  arena.  Gen.  Dodge  died,  universally  esteemed  and  generally 
regretted  by  a  large  circle  of  personal  friends,  Nov.  20,  1883. 

P'rom  1848-55,  the  Dodges,  father  and  son,  were  members  at  the  same  time  of 
the  United  States  senate,  a  coincidence  without  a  parallel  in  American  history;  and 
the  untimely  death  of  Gov.  Dodge's  half-brother,  Dr.  Lewis  Lynn,  before  the  expira- 
tion of  his  term  as  senator  from  the  State  of  Missouri,  prevented  his  service  in  the 
same  senate  with  the  father  and  son. 

A  daughter  of  Gov.  Dodge  is  also  well  known  in  Illinois  history.  Mary  Louise 
Dodge  was  married  to  Col.  John  Dement  at  Ft.  Leavenworth  in  1835,  and  has  been 
truly  one  of  the  pioneer  mothers  of  our  State.  By  the  death  of  her  distinguished 
husband  on  January  17,  1883,  she  is  left  to  survive  most  of  her  family.  Her  present 
residence  is  in  Dixon,  Lee  County,  111. 

Her  son,  Hon.  Henry  Dodge  Dement,  is  the  present  secretary  of  state  of  the  State 
•of  Illinois,  a  position  he  has  attained  by  the  exercise  of  those  qualifications  of  integ- 
rity, ability,  and  geniality,  which  have  descended  to  him  from  both  families  of  his 
illustrious  ancestry.  Mr.  Dement  has  represented  his  county  in  the  State  legislature, 
and  served  four  years  as  a  senator  from  his  district  in  the  State  senate.  He  also  has 
maintained  the  fighting  reputation  of  both  sides  of  the  house  by  making  a  good 
soldier  in  the  late  war,  entering  the  service  as  a  second  lieutenant  while  a  mere  boy, 
early  in  1861;  he  was  promoted  to  a  first  lieutenant  shortly  afterward;  and  made  an 
honorable  record  in  one  of  the  veteran  regiments  of  Illinois — the  Thirteenth  Infantry. 
— J.  II.  G. 


and  immoralities  so  much  practised  at  that  time.  And 
altho  he  had  not  the  opportunity  to  receive  much  education 
inside  of  a  college,  yet  he  studied  men  and  things  outside;  so 
that  he  has  acquired  a  great  store  of  intelligence  and  informa- 
tion, which  enables  him  to  occupy  an  elevated  and  conspicu- 
ous standing  in  society.  Nature  bestowed  on  him  some  of  her 
most  precious  gifts.  He  possesses  a  strong  and  solid  judg- 
ment; but  he  moves  to  a  conclusion  with  caution  and  reaches 
it  with  mathematical  certainty.  His  leading  traits  of  char- 
acter are:  a  strong  intellect,  great  firmness,  and  much  dignity. 
Nature  designed  him  for  the  profession  of  arms,  and  he  has 
embraced  the  military  on  all  fit  and  appropriate  occasions.  In 
his  youth  he  was  much  engaged  in  hunting  the  wild  game  and 
often  remained  in  the  woods  for  weeks  and  months  together. 
On  these  occasions  his  apparel  corresponded  with  his  vocation, 
which  would  make  a  strong  contrast  with  his  present  respect- 
able and  dignified  appearance  in  the  senate  of  the  United 
States.  Such  are  the  blessings  of  our  free  institutions,  that 
merit  can  rise  from  the  humble  h:e  of  a  hunter  to  the  most 
dignified  and  elevated  stations  known  to  the  people. 

In  former  days,  he  manufactured  great  quantities  of  salt  at 
the  works  below  Ste.  Genevieve.  He  had  several  hundred 
laborers  in  his  service,  at  times  working  this  saline. 

In  the  late  war  with  Great  Britain,  he  was  engaged  almost 
the  whole  time  in  the  defence  of  the  frontiers.  He  was  elected 
a  general  of  the  militia  of  Missouri  before  the  war  of  1812, 
which  enabled  him  to  keep  the  militia  in  a  proper  organiza- 
tion for  active  operations. 

He  took  command  of  a  battalion  of  four  hundred  men,  com- 
posed of  United-States  rangers,  mounted  riflemen,  and  others, 
with  a  squad  of  friendly  Shawnee  Indians,  and  removed  a  band 
of  the  Miami  Indians  from  the  Boone's-Lick  Settlement  on  the 
Missouri  River  to  the  Wabash.  These  Indians  were  made  to 
unite  with  their  own  nation  on  the  Wabash,  for  safe-keeping 
out  of  the  influence  of  the  hostile  Indians  in  the  north.  When 
they  resided  on  the  Missouri  and  professed  to  be  friendly,  it 
gave  rise  to  suspicion  that  they  harbored  and  sustained  the 
others  who  were  hostile.  It  was  wise  and  benevolent  policy  to 
settle  them  with  their  own  people  on  the  Wabash ;  thereby 


"keeping  them  out  of  temptation."  Gen.  Dodge  performed 
this  delicate  service  with  judgment  and  discretion. 

He  was  appointed  United- States  marshal  in  the  State  of 
Missouri  at  the  first  organization  of  the  State  government,  and 
continued  to  execute  the  duties  of  that  important  station  for 
many  years.  He  was  punctual,  prompt,  and  decisive  in  per- 
forming the  duties  of  this  office. 

In  1822,  he  emigrated  from  the  State  of  Missouri  to  the 
Michigan  Territory.  He  located  in  that  section  of  the  terri- 
tory north  of  the  State  of  Illinois  which  composes  the  State 
of  Wisconsin  at  this  time.  In  this  new  country,  he  operated 
in  the  lead  business.  A  town  is  called  Dodgeville  Tor  him,  in- 
cluding his  residence. 

In  the  Black-Hawk  war,  his  section  of  the  territory  of  Wis- 
consin was  very  much  exposed  to  the  Indian  depredations, 
and  he  was  the  main  defender  and  protector  of  the  country, 
as  almost  the  whole  country  was  a  frontier.  He  organized  all 
the  male  persons,  old  and  young,  that  could  be  raised  in  the 
country  for  the  defence  of  their  firesides.  After  Gen.  Still- 
man's  battle  on  Sycamore  Creek,  above  Dixon's  Ferry  on  Rock 
River,  in  1832,  I  sent  an  express  at  night  to  Gen.  Dodge,  who 
was  in  the  neighborhood,  informing  him  of  the  facts  and  that 
his  country  in  the  territory  was  in  imminent  danger  from  the 
attacks  of  the  Indians.  We  knew  that  the  hearts  of  all  the 
Indians,  who  resided  within  three  hundred  miles  of  the  scenes 
of  the  Black -Hawk  war,  were  with  him  in  the  quarrel  and 
wished  him  success. 

If  Black  Hawk  had  succeeded  in  some  skirmishes,  and  no 
efficient  efforts  been  made  against  him,  all  the  tribes  around 
about  would  unite  with  his  band  and  harass  the  frontiers.  To 
prevent  this  outbreak  of  the  Indians,  it  was  necessary  to  act 
with  despatch  and  efficiency.  Gen.  Dodge  carried  out  this 
policy  with  great  activity  and  spirit.  The  Indians  were  pre- 
vented from  joining  Black  Hawk,  and  much  injury  to  the 
country  was  thereby  avoided. 

A  bold  and  decisive  battle  was  fought  by  Gen.  Dodge  and 
fifteen  of  his  men  against  sixteen  Indians.  These  Indians  had 
committed  some  murders  near  Hamilton's  Fort,  in  the  terri- 
tory, and  Dodge  and  party  pursued  them.  There  was  no  time 


to  lose,  or  the  Indians  would  escape.  The  whites  pursued  the 
Indians  toward  Rock  River  and  overtook  them.  Dodge  and 
party  rushed  on  them  and  destroyed  every  one.  He  had  three 
or  four  of  his  men  killed  and  some  wounded.  It  was  neces- 
sary to  make  this  energetic  and  decisive  attack  on  the  Indians 
to  make  them  sue  for  peace. 

In  the  Black-Hawk  war  he  acquired  much  reputation  ;  and 
at  the  close  of  it,  was  appointed  a  colonel  over  a  regiment  of 
dragoons.  At  the  head  of  this  regiment,  he  marched,  in  the 
.year  1833,  across  the  plains  to  the  Rocky  Mountains,  and  made 
several  important  treaties  with  the  Indians  at  the  mountains 
and  also  on*  the  plains.  He  returned  in  the  fall  with  his  regi- 
ment in  good  order  and  health.  This  regiment  of  dragoons, 
after  being  disciplined  and  inured  to  service  with  Col.  Dodge 
at  its  head,  was  an  efficient  corps  and  would  have  sustained 
the  honor  of  the  service  in  any  situation  on  a  battle-field  or 

He  was  appointed  governor  of  the  Wisconsin  Territory,  and 
executed  the  high  and  responsible  duties  of  that  office  to  the 
entire  satisfaction  of  both  the  people  of  the  territory  and  the 
general  government.  He  was  also  superintendent  of  Indian 
affairs,  which  is  an  office  incident  to  that  of  the  governor. 

This  territory  was,  at  that  time,  surrounded  with  Indians, 
which  made  the  office  of  superintendent  one  of  much  delicacy, 
and  required  sound  judgment  to  execute  it;  but  he  performed 
the  duties  of  this  station  to  the  honor  of  himself  and  much  to 
the  interest  of  the  people.  Gen.  Dodge  has  occupied  for  many 
years  the  high  and  dignified  office  of  senator  in  the  congress 
of  the  United  States,  and  has  made  an  excellent  member.  He 
has  now  before  him  the  experience  of  a  long  and  eventful  life, 
together  with  a  sound  and  solid  judgment,  so  that  he  now 
makes  an  efficient,  substantial,  and  dignified  member  of  con- 
gress. He  has  a  large  and  respectable  family.  One  of  his 
sons,  A.  C.  Dodge,  is  in  the  United-States  senate  from  the 
State  of  Iowa. 

William  Musick,  James  Piggot,  Robert  Sybold,  and  some 
few  others  were  inhabitants  of  Kaskaskia  before  the  close  of 
the  Revolution. 

Before  the  year   1778,  many  American   families  made   im- 


provements  in  Illinois,  by  which  they  obtained  a  bounty  of 
land  from  the  government. 

John  Montgomery  improved  that  tract  of  land  two  or  three 
miles  east  of  Kaskaskia  River,  Randolph  County,  on  the  Vin- 
cennes  old  road,  where  Stace  McDonough  has  since  resided 
for  more  than  half-a-century.  Montgomery  erected  a  small 
water-mill  on  a  spring  near  his  house.  The  remains  of  the 
old  dam  may  be  seen  to  this  day,  although  it  must  be  about 
seventy  years  old. 

George  Lunsford  made  an  improvement,  and  by  it  obtained 
a  grant  of  land.  Henderson,  Harniss,  Huff,  Chaffin,  Sybold, 
and  many  other  Americans  with  their  families  resided  in  Illi- 
nois and  made  improvements  before  the  year  1783. 

It  will   be  recollected  that  Col.  John  Todd*  of  Kentucky 

*  Col.  John  Todd,  the  first  of  the  name  to  emigrate  to  Illinois,  was  a  son  of  David 
Todd  and  Hannah  Owen,  who  came  from  Ireland,  where  they  were  married,  to  the 
town  of  Pequea,  Lancaster  County,  Pennsylvania,  prior  to  the  1<  evolution.  David 
Todd  had  three  sons,  John,  Robert,  and  Levi,  who  were  all  educated  by  their  uncle, 
Rev.  John  Todd,  who  conducted  a  literary  institution  of  an  educational  character  in 
that  county.  The  three  brothers  emigrated  together  to  Fayette  County,  Kentucky, 
in  1778;  and  shortly  afterward,  Col.  John  Todd  was  commissioned  by  Patrick  Henry, 
then  governor  of  Virginia,  to  be  lieutenant-colonel  and  civil  commandant  of  Illinois 
County,  then  just  authorized  by  an  act  of  the  Virginia  assembly,  October,  1778. 
Afterward  he  organized  the  new  county  government,  June  15,  1779,  and  everything 
was  running  smoothly  when  he  had  occasion  to  visit  Virginia  in  reference  to  land- 
titles,  in  the  summer  of  1782,  and  on  his  return,  while  visiting  his  family  in  Ken- 
tucky, the  Indian  invasion  from  the  western  side  of  the  Ohio  River  occurred,  and  in 
a  battle  which  was  fought  with  them  at  Blue  Licks,  in  which  Col.  Todd  was  a  volun- 
teer commander,  he  was  killed,  on  August  18,  1782. 

Levi  Todd,  brother  to  John  Todd,  was  a  lieutenant  under  George  Rogers  Clark 
in  the  expedition  which  captured  Kaskaskia,  in  1778,  and  he  returned  with  the  de- 
tachment which  took  the  British  commander,  M.  Rocheblave,  a  prisoner  to  Virginia. 
He  never  returned  to  Illinois,  but  spent  the  balance  of  his  life  at  Lexington,  Ken- 
tucky, where  he  filled  many  important^  positions  of  trust  and  confidence.  Gen.  Levi 
Todd  is  best  known  in  Illinois  by  his  descendants.  His  daughter  Hannah  was  mar- 
ried to  Rev.  Robert  Stuart,  a  distinguished  Presbyterian  divine,  and  former  professor 
of  languages  in  Transylvania  University.  From  this  union  sprang  Hon.  John  T. 
Stuart,  a  distinguished  member  of  the  Springfield,  111.,  bar,  the  preceptor  and  after- 
ward the  law-partner  of  Abraham  Lincoln. 

Gen.  Todd's  son,  Robert  S.,  was  the  father  of  Mrs.  Ninian  W.  Edwards,  Mrs.  Dr. 
Wm.  S.  Wallace,  Mrs.  C.  M.  Smith,  and  Mrs.  Abraham  Lincoln,  all  of  whom  have 
lived  in  this  State  for  many  years,  and  those  of  the  number  yet  living  still  reside  in 
Springfield  Dr.  John  Todd,  brother  to  these,  emigrated  to  Edwardsville  in  1817, 
and  afterward,  in  1827,  to  Springfield.  The  numerous  descendants  of  Dr.  Todd  and 


organized  the  government  of  Illinois  at  Kaskaskia  in  the  year 
1778,  under  the  jurisdiction  of  Virginia,  and  whatever  govern- 
ment the  people  had,  was  that  established  by  Col.  Todd  and 
Capt.  Stirling,  when  the  British  conquered  the  country,  in  the 
year  1763. 

The  government  was  very  imperfect;  but  the  people  needed 
little  or  none.  Rocheblave  was  governor  when  Clark  captured 
the  country,  and  Timothy  Demountbrun  was  the  comman- 
dant when  Col.  Todd  came  to  Kaskaskia.  There  was  a  kind  of 
mixture  of  the  civil  and  British  law  in  the  country,  adminis- 
tered by  courts  down  to  1790,  when  Gov.  St.  Clair  came  to 
Kaskaskia  and  set  in  motion  the  territorial  government  under 
the  ordinance  or  act  of  congress  of  1787.  A  people,  such  as 
those  in  Illinois  were,  in  sparse  settlements,  poor  and  honest, 
needed  very  little  government.  And  it  is  a  curse  all  over  the 
earth  that  "  the  people  are  governed  too  much."  When  a 
people  are  shackled  down  with  excessive  legislation,  with  char- 
ters for  corporations,  and  sometimes  with  a  public  debt,  they 
are  in  a  humble  and  degraded  condition;  and  if  no  other  relief 
can  reach  them,  they  should  resort  to  a  revolution  for  it. 

his  sisters  rank  among'  the  best  people,  socially  and  intellectually,  'about  the  State 
capital.  One  of  them,  Robert  Todd  Lincoln,  being  at  the  present  time  secretary  of 
war.— J.  H.  G. 


Illinois  under  the  Northwest  Territory  of  the  Government. 

AFTER  the  close  of  the  war  of  the  Revolution,  the  people 
of  the  United  Colonies  were  much  embarrassed  and  largely  in 
debt.  A  seven  years'  war  with  the  most  powerful  nation  on 
earth  was  severely  felt  by  all  classes  of  people.  The  federal 
government  and  many  of  the  States  earnestly  solicited  the 
State  of  Virginia  and  other  States  to  cede  their  western  lands 
to  the  general  government,  and  thereby  a  fund  could  be  real- 
ized by  a  sale  of  these  lands  to  pay  the  public  debt  and  carry 
on  the  government. 

Virginia,  with  that  nobleness  of  character  and  disinterested- 
ness which  has  always  influenced  its  councils,  on  March  i, 
1784,  ceded  to  the  general  government  her  public  domain, 
that  now  forms  the  states  of  Ohio,  Indiana,  Illinois,  Wisconsin, 
and  Michigan;  and  also  transferred  to  the  United  Colonies  the 
government  and  'urisdiction  of  the  ceded  country. 

As  it  has  been  stated,  in  the  year  1785,  an  ordinance  of  ti^ 
old  congress  passed  to  survey  and  prepare  for  market  some  of 
the  public  domain.  The  ordinance  required  townships  of  six 
miles  square  to  be  laid  off  by  lines  running  north  and  south 
and  east  and  west  on  the  true  meridian.  The  first  of  these 
lines  were  to  commence  on  the  Ohio  River  at  a  point  north  of 
the  western  termination  of  the  western  boundary  of  Penn- 
sylvania; thence  due  north,  and  another  line  commencing  at 
the  same  point  running  due  west.  Each  township  was  to  be 
subdivided  into  thirty -six  square  miles,  and  numbered  from 
one  to  thirty-six,  commencing  in  the  northeast  corner  and 
numbering  west  and  east  to  the  termination  in  the  southeast 
corner,  at  the  number  36.  One  of  these  sections  (i6th)  was 
reserved  in  each  township  for  the  use  of  schools. 

Various  acts  of  congress  en  the  subject  have  passed;  so  that 
as  low  a  number  as  forty  acres  of  land  may  be  entered  to 
accommodate  purchasers.  This  land-system  has  been  adopted 
10  145 


over  all  the  public  domain  in  the  United  States,  and  has  proved 
to  be  of  general  utility.  This  system  also  gave  the  first  direc- 
tion of  public  opinion  in  favor  of  schools.  In  this,  as  in  other 
things,  the  provisions  of  this  act  of  congress  were  based  on 
wisdom  and  with  a  just  regard  to  the  claims  of  posterity. 

The  New  Design  was  the  name  of  the  settlement  made 
about  four  miles  south  of  Bellefontaine,  in  the  present  county 
of  Monroe.  This  location  of  emigrants  was  established  as 
early  as  1782,  and  then  received  the  name  of  New  Design.  It 
is  a  beautiful  country  whereon  this  settlement  was  made.  It 
is  elevated  and  commands  a  view  of  both  rivers,  the  Kaskaskia 
and  Mississippi,  and  withal,  the  soil  is  fertile.  It  was  first  a 
prairie  and  barrens;  but  at  present  the  timber  has  grown  up 
all  over  the  country  which  is  not  cultivated. 

This  was  the  largest  settlement  made  by  Americans  in  Illi- 
nois in  early  times,  and  was  generally  the  first  rendezvous  of 
the  emigrants.  It  was  the  headquarters,  together  with  the 
Bellefontaine  settlement,  of  the  whole  American  population. 
Before  the  year  1790,  a  considerable  settlement  was  formed  in 
the  New  Design.  Horse-mills  and  blacksmith's-shops  were 
established  there.  Mr.  Dougherty  erected  a  band-mill,  which 
answered  the  pioneers  a  good  purpose  in  1795. 

John  Murdoch,  it  will  be  recollected,  came  to  the  American 
Bottom  with  his  brother,  Barney,  and  Mr.  Huff,  his  step-father, 
in  the  year  1786,  and  resided  there  during  life. 

Barney  Murdoch  died  in  early  life  and  the  step-father,  Huff, 
as  was  before  stated,  was  killed  by  the  Indians,  leaving  much 
estate,  and  thereby  John  Murdoch  inherited  for  that  early 
time  a  large  property.  He  came  to  the  country  when  a  mere 
lad,  and  his  mind  and  character  were  formed  under  the  perilous 
circumstances  of  a  wild  and  new  country.  He  had,  in  his 
younger  days,  little  opportunity  of  education  and  therefore  his 
book-learning  was  limited.  He  could  merely  read  and  write 
and  was  acquainted  with  some  of  the  common  rules  of  arith- 
metic. Making  a  living  in  the  American  Bottom  was  not  diffi- 
cult and  he  paid  not  much  attention  to  it.  His  youthful  days 
were  spent  by  him  in  a  kind  of  poetic  action.  If  ever  a  gay 
young  man  acted  poetry,  it  was  John  Murdoch,  in  his  limited 
sphere.  He  possessed  a  mind  of  extraordinary  ability  and  let 


it  loose  like  Childe  Harold:  "He  vexed  with  mirth  the  drowsy 
ear  of  night."  Nature  blessed  Murdoch  with  an  active  and 
vigorous  intellect.  But  few  individuals,  in  any  country,  possess 
the  strong  mind  that  nature  bestowed  on  him.  But  the  situa- 
tion of  the  country,  together  with  his  associations,  rendered 
this  gift  of  nature  to  him  useless  and  perhaps  injurious.  A 
great  and  vigorous  mind,  when  it  has  a  wrong  direction,  does 
much  more  injury  than  a  weak  one.  This  was  the  case  with 
Prince  Henry  until  his  father's  death,  when  he  became  king  of 
England  and  then  Henry  the  Fifth  was  the  greatest  monarch 
of  his  age. 

John  Murdoch  was  a  model  of  symmetry  and  masculine 
beauty,  rather  above  the  ordinary  size  of  men,  and  somewhat 
corpulent.  He  was  as  straight  as  an  arrow  and  of  a  dark 
complexion;  his  eyes  were  large  and  black  and  displayed  an 
uncommon  brilliancy;  his  head  was  large  and  forehead  uncom- 
monly capacious.  In  all  societies,  with  the  young  or  old,  with 
the  wild  or  religious,  he  was  always  the  centre  of  attraction 
and  the  commanding  spirit  of  the  circle.  . 

The  manners  and  customs  of  early  times  permitted  him  to 
enter  into  the  dissipations  of  the  country.  He  acquired  among 
the  French  their  language  and  their  accomplishments  in  the 
dance.  He  performed  well  on  the  violin  and  possessed  an 
excellent  natural  talent  for  music.  In  his  early  day,  no  one 
could  sing  with  more  grace  and  glee  than  he  could.  The 
necessities  of  the  country  learned  him  the  use  of  the  gun  and 
he  became  an  excellent  marksman  and  hunter.  Horse-racing 
at  that  day  was  indulged  in  by  almost  all  classes  of  citizens, 
and  in  that  sport  he  took  great  delight.  He  was  also  enamored 
with  the  various  games  of  cards,  which  grew  on  him  and  at 
at  last  ruined  him. 

A  palliation,  not  a  justification,  for  gambling  with  cards  may 
be  given  in  the  fact  that  nearly  the  whole  country,  forty  or 
fifty  years  ago,  enjoyed  the  luxuries  of  a  card-table,  and  public 
opinion  was  somewhat  in  its  favor;  but  notwithstanding  this, 
this  sin  will,  earlier  or  later,  bring  ruin  on  those  who 

As  he  grew  in  years,  he  became  more  dignified  and  com- 
manding in  person  and  deportment.  There.was  in  his  char- 
acter nothing  frivolous  or  trifling.  In  all  situations,  in  the 


woods,  the  camp,  or  the  legislative  halls,  he  also  deported  him- 
self with  that  hauteur  of  character  and  manly  bearing  which  is 
becoming  a  gentleman. 

Easy,  graceful  manners  seem  to  have  been  born  with  him; 
he  was  polite  by  instinct  and  in  all  his  various  scenes  of  pleas- 
ure and  gayety,  he  never  forgot  the  good  breeding  of  a  gentle- 
man, and  always  showed  respect  to  religion  and  to  the  aged 
part  of  community. 

John  Murdoch  was  benevolent  and  kind  and  possessed  no 
malignity  or  malice  in  his  heart;  he  had  no  gall  in  his  compo- 
sition, yet  firm  and  warm  in  his  attachments.  If  he  had  been 
raised  in  different  society,  and  had  received  a  competent  edu- 
cation, he  would  have  been  a  great  man.  Nature  did  much 
for  him,  and  he  depended  on  these  natural  gifts  and  did  noth- 
ing for  himself;  yea,  worse,  he  contended  against  these  natural 

Like  almost  all  of  these  characters  that  nature  has  done  so 
much  for,  he  did  nothing  for  himself.  He  was  indolent,  to  an 
extreme,  in  everything  except  in  the  pursuit  of  pleasure.  He 
had  no  business  talents;  he  was  raised  in  wealth,  in  a  country 
where  industry  was  not  known;  he  grew  up  in  a  country  where 
the  people  lived  free  and  easy;  he,  like  the  others,  indulged  in 
everything  that  tended  to  pleasure  and  to  his  amusement. 

When  he  reached  the  age  of  manhood,  he  was  frequently 
called  upon  to  serve  the  public.  He  was  elected,  in  1803,  as 
one  of  the  three  members  of  St.Clair  County  to  the  territorial 
legislature,  which  convened  at  Vincennes  in  the  same  year. 
This  was  the  first  general  assembly  held  under  the  authority 
of  the  Indiana  Territory. 

In  the  year  1802,  the  territory  of  Indiana  was  established 
and  Illinois  constituted  a  part  of  it.  This  was  an  important 
legislature,  to  organize  the  new  territorial  government.  Mur- 
doch acquitted  himself  in  the  legislature  to  the  satisfaction  of] 
the  public.  He  was  at  that  day  very  young  for  a  legislator; 
but  his  mind  under  the  circumstances  of  the  country  and  his 
situation  in  it  was  considerably  developed.  He  had  been 
thrown  on  his  own  resources  from  his  infancy,  and  had  thereby 
become  old  in  experience  tho  young  in  years. 

He  was  very  popular  with  the  ladies;  his  gayety  and  per- 


sonal  attractions  made  him  a  great  favorite  with  them.  He 
acted  the  gallant  as  part  of  a  gentlemanly  deportment  to  the 
fair  sex;  but  he  did  not  extend  the  power  he  possessed  iri  that 
respect  beyond  a  decent  propriety. 

He  married  a  Miss  Garrison,  who  was  the  step-daughter  of 
Judge  Bond,  and   likewise  an  amiable  and  agreeable  lady  of 
excellent  family.     He  and  family  occupied  a  plantation  in  the    \ 
American  Bottom  until  his  death. 

He  had  some  talent  and  taste  for  military  life.  He  was  first 
captain  of  a  company  and  afterward  became  a  major  of  a  bat- 
talion. In  this  office,  on  a  general  muster-day,  no  officer  ever 
appeared  in  the  field  to  equal  the  imposing  appearance  of 
Major  Murdoch.  He  was  a  splendid  horseman,  together  with 
his  dashing  uniform  and  manly  military  display  on  parade, 
which  made  htm  show  off  to  great  advantage.  Yet  all  this 
good  fortune  did  not  spoil  him.  He  was  neither  vain  or  over- 

He  declared  an  eternal  warfare  against  the  whole  Indian 
family,  in  peace  or  in  war.  He  had  a  mother,  father,  and  two 
step-fathers  killed  by  the  Indians.  Perhaps  no  other  man  had 
the  same  reason  to  dislike  the  Indians,  as  he  had,  on  account 
of  so  many  of  his  parents  being  killed  by  them.  Ever  since 
he  was  able  to  raise  a  gun,  he  was,  on  all  proper  occasions,  out 
against  them. 

In  the  late  war  of  1812,  against  Great  Britain  and  her  Indian 
allies,  Murdoch  was  active  and  zealous  to  fight  the  red  men. 
He  was  field-officer  in  the  campaign  under  Gov.  Edwards,  in 
the  fall  of  1812,  to  the  upper  end  of  Lake  Peoria,  and  acted 
as  major  in  that  expedition.  He  also  acted  as  major  in  the 
campaign  of  1813,  under  Gen.  Howard. 

Murdoch  never  gave  himself  the  trouble  to  study  military 
tactics,  but  depended  on  his  natural  resources,  which  seldom 
failed  him. 

He  was  elected  November  10,  1813,  from  St.Clair  County  to 
the  legislative  assembly,  held  at  Kaskaskia  under  the  territorial 
government  of  Illinois.  He  was  a  quiet  voting  member  of  the 
assembly,  and  always  had  the  sound  judgment  to  prevent  him 
from  frothy  declamation,  by  which  the  public  good  is  not 
advanced;  and  in  every  particular  he  made  a  good  solid  mem- 


her,  and  his  constituents  highly  approved  his  conduct.  In  fact, 
being  raised  among  his  constituents,  and  having  good  sound 
sense,  with  extremely  popular  manners,  he  almost  made  public 
opinion  in  his  county.  Almost  everything  he  did  was  popular. 
It  was  his  great  popularity  with  the  young  men  of  his  day  that 
led  many  of  them  estray  into  the  paths  of  pleasure  and  dis- 
sipation. They  imitated  him,  but  had  not  the  talents  to  shun 
the  rocks  that  lay  concealed  under  the  waves  of  dissipation  as 
well  as  he  did;  and  even  he  at  last  was  ruined  by  this  course. 

Murdoch  spent  much  of  his  spare  time  in  hunting.  He  was 
a  great  hunter  and  marksman,  and  camped  out  for  weeks  to 
hunt  and  recreate  himself  in  the  woods. 

Murdoch  being  past  the  meridian  of  life,  these  follies  and 
foibles  of  human  nature  increased  on  him  until  his  death.  He 
died  in  1830,  regretted  by  all  Monroe  County. 

John  Murdoch  was  a  noble  pioneer.  He  had  united  in  him 
a  strong  mind,  graceful  manners,  and  the  self-sustained  inde- 
pendence of  the  perfect  backwoodsman. 

Murdoch  had  human  foibles  and  frailties.  One  great  defect 
in  his  character  was  that  he  had  not  the  power  to  resist  temp- 
tation. The  gayety  and  fascination  of  agreeable  society  he 
could  not  resist.  He  was  all  life  and  animation,  and  indulged 
in  these  fascinations,  at  first,  without  much  injury;  but  at  last, 
this  course  of  life  became  second  nature  to  him,  so  that  he 
could  not  refrain  from  it.  The  weak  point  in  man  is  that  he 
has  not  the  power  to  withstand  temptation. 

Truth  requires  it  to  be  stated  of  Murdoch  that  Ije  was  one 
of  the  greatest  men  that  was  ever  raised  in  Illinois;  he  was 
Nature's  nobleman. 

The  old  village  of  Prairie  du  Chien,  situated  on  the  east 
bank  of  the  Mississippi,  a  few  miles  above  the  mouth  of  the 
Wisconsin  River,  was  built  by  the  French  not  long  after  the 
first  discovery  of  the  country,  and  was  occupied  by  the  Indian 
traders  and  farmers.  It  was  the  outpost  of  the  Indian  trade. 

This  village  took  its  name  from  a  band  of  the  Fox  Indians, 
who  resided  there  and  were  called  the  dog  band.  Prairie  du 
Chien  is  in  English,  the  prairie  of  the  dogs. 

The  French  inhabitants  cultivated  the  Mississippi  Bottom 
for  four  miles  up  and  down  the  river,  and  nearly  a  mile  wide 


from  the  river  to  the  bluff.  The  present  village  of  Prairie  du 
Chien  is  about  one  mile  above  the  old  village,  and  was  built  in 
the  year  1783,  under  the  British  authority.  The  site  was  pur- 
chased of  the  Fox  Indians.  In  1807,  in  the  village  and  vicinity, 
there  were  thirty-seven  houses,  and  counting  ten  persons  to 
each  house,  there  would  be  three  hundred  and  seventy  inhabi- 
tants. A  few  houses  were  erected  on  the  west  side  of  the 
Mississippi,  at  Girard's  River. 

In  the  year  1812.  Dubuque,  Antya,  and  Girard  were  the 
principal  settlers  in  Prairie  du  Chien.  Brisbois,  N.  Boilvin,  and 
others  also  resided  there.  At  some  seasons  of  the  year,  there 
was  a  great  influx  of  traders  at  this  village,  to  the  number  of 
six  or  eight  hundred  white  persons  and  Indians  in  proportion. 

The  citizens  being  so  remote  from  the  white  population  had 
children  with  the  squaws;  so  that  many  of  the  present  genera- 
tion have  some  Indian  blood  in  their  veins.  This  is  considered 
no  disparagement  in  that  section  of  the  country. 

It  is  no  disparagement  in  any  country.  The  Indian  blood 
is  found  in  the  veins  of  many  of  the  greatest  Americans  that 
figured  on  the  stage  of  public  action.  John  Randolph,  whose 
celebrity  is  extended  over  Europe,  as  well  as  America,  had  a 
share  of  the  bow-and-arrow  blood  in  his  composition;  as  also 
many  other  great  and  eminent  men  in  the  United  States.  The 
only  misfortune  is  that  the  Indian  race  is  not  equal  to  the  Euro- 
pean, and  far  below  the  North  American.  The  compound  will 
not  improve  the  stock.  The  American  race  of  people  with 
the  various  crosses,  and  being  raised  and  educated  under  the 
influence  of  free  and  liberal  institutions,  present  to  the  world 
a  race  superior  to  any  other  nation.  A  great  variety  of  cir- 
cumstances produce  this  result. 

In  the  first  place,  the  most  talented  and  energetic  people 
leave  Europe  and  settle  in  America.  The  drones  are  left  at 
home  in  the  old  country.  The  various  races  intermarry,  whose 
offspring  is  improved  by  it.  In  the  next  place,  the  country  of 
North  America  is  large  and  presents  opportunities  and  facili- 
ties for  the  pursuit  of  wealth  and  power  that  accommodates  all 
the  different  views  of  the  citizens  and  urges  them  on  to  action. 
And  our  republican  institutions,  based  upon  equal  principles 
and  their  influence.  Education  is  diffused  and  the  road  to 


power  and  wealth  and  the  highest  offices  are  open  to  merit,  so- 
that  all  these  incentives  to  action  develope  the  intellect  and 
energies  of  the  people  until  the  Americans  are  a  superior  race. 

Our  old  enemies,  the  British,  and  their  American  friends  give 
us  the  name  of  new  Anglo-Saxons.  Our  name,  blood,  and 
lineage  are  American  and  not  Anglo-Saxon.  It  is  true  that 
most  of  the  Americans  are  descendants  of  Europeans,  but  the 
preponderance  of  blood  is  not  of  the  Anglo-Saxon  race.  There 
are  more  of  the  descendants  of  the  Irish  and  Germans  in  the 
United  States  than  English.  In  fact,  the  American  race  at 
present  is  so  compounded  and  improved  that  we  are  a  stock 
of  our  own. 

It  is  stated  that  in  1814,  the  farms  of  Prairie  du  Chien  were 
in  high  cultivation.  Between  two  and  three  hundred  barrels 
of  flour  may  have  been  manufactured  there  that  season  besides 
a  vast  quantity  of  corn. 

The  first  American  school-master  ever  appeared  in  Illinois 
was  Samuel  John  Seely,  in  1783.  This  school-teacher  entered 
on  his  labors  in  the  New  Design  in  the  present  county  of 
Monroe.  I  would  respectfully  recommend  to  the  attention  of 
the  directors  of  the  common-school  system  in  Illinois  the  pro- 
priety of  doing  honor  to  Mr.  Seely  and  to  the  subject  of  educa- 
tion by  establishing  great  anniversary  jubilees  on  the  occasion. 

The  next  teacher  was  Francis  Clark,  an  intemperate  man, 
who  appeared  in  1785.  The  next  was  an  Irishman  named 
Halfpenny,  who  taught  school  in  many  sections  of  Illinois  for 
many  years.  This  preceptor  taught  almost  all  the  American 
children  in  Illinois  in  his  day  that  received  any  education  at 
all.  He  might  be  styled  the  school-master  general  of  Illinois 
at  that  day. 

The  next  teacher  was  John  Clark,  a  preacher  and  a  talented 
man.  He  was  a  Scotchman  and  was  well  educated.  He 
taught  the  higher  branches  of  education — mathematics,  phi- 
losophy, etc. 

The  Indian  depredations  prevailed  throughout  the  country 
so  much  that  the  education  of  the  children  could  not  be  much 
attended  to  before  the  peace  with  the  Indians  in  1795. 

The  Indians  were  never  hostile  to  the  French  population. 
They  might  do  some  injury  to  their  property  and  at  rare  in- 


vals  kill  a  white  man;  but  there  was  never  a  settled  determina- 
tion to  wage  war  against  the  French,  with  some  exceptions, 
where  the  British  instigated  the  savages  to  the  deed.  But  far 
different  it  was  with  the  American  population.  It  is  difficult 
to  say  when  Indian  depredation  on  the  Americans  commenced; 
but  Wayne's  treaty,  in  1795,  put  a  stop  to  these  hostilities. 

Wherever  the  American  population  was  large  enough  in  Illi- 
nois for  the  attention  of  the  Indians,  then  a  bitter  marauding 
warfare  commenced. 

In  1786,  was  the  first  decisive  Indian  war  waged  against  the 
Americans  in  Illinois.  James  Flannary  was  killed  in  1783,  by 
the  Indians,  but  this  was  not  considered  a  general  war. 

In  1786,  not  far  northwest  of  Waterloo,  Monroe  County, 
James  Andrews,  his  wife,  and  daughter,  James  White,  and 
Samuel  McClure  were  killed  by  the  Indians  and  two  daugh- 
ters of  Andrews  were  taken  prisoners.  One  died  with  the 
Indians  and  the  other  was  ransomed  by  the  French  traders. 
This  first  act  of  Indian  warfare  on  the  Americans  in  Illinois 
was  bold  and  decisive.  Five  were  killed  and  two  taken  pris- 
oners. The  daughter  of  Andrews  who  was  ransomed  is  still 
alive  and  is  the  mother  of  a  large  family. 

This  slaughter  of  part  of  the  infant  settlement  of  Illinois- 
produced  a  great  panic  among  the  pioneers  and  caused  then* 
to  erect  the  stations  and  forts  that  are  heretofore  mentioned 
for  their  protection.  A  continual  murderous  warfare  was  kept 
up  against  the  first  American  settlers  until  1795.  It  is  astonish- 
ing how  so  small  a  settlement  as  was  in  the  country  in  1785 
could  sustain  itself  against  the  great  numbers  of  Indians  that 
were  in  the  country  at  that  day.  The  whites  not  only  fortified 
to  protect  themselves,  but  were  compelled  to  mount  guard 
day  and  night  for  their  safety.  When  a  man  was  plowing  in 
the  field,  one  other  or  more  were  stationed  outside  to  protect 
him.  The  same  with  the  domestic  affairs  of  a  family,  guards 
for  protection  were  indispensable  to  save  their  lives  from  the 
attack  of  the  hostile  Indians. 

In  1788,  December  10,  Benjamin  Ogle  and  James  Garretson 
were  fired  on  by  two  Indians  while  they  were  hauling  hay  from 
the  Bottom.  A  ball  lodged  in  Ogle's  shoulder  and  remained 
there.  Garretson  made  his  escape  in  the  woods.  In  stacking 


the  same  hay,  Samuel  Garretson  and  Mr.  Reddick  were  both 
killed  and  scalped.  Mr.  Ogle  received  a  pension  for  this  wound. 

The  year  1789  was  one  of  continual  commissions  of  murders 
and  depredations  by  the  Indians  on  this  small  defenceless  set- 
tlement. The  citizens  at  that  day  must  have  had  iron  wills  or 
otherwise  they  would  have  been  exterminated  by  the  Indians. 
We  read  of  repeated  an  i  repeated  murders  of  the  inhabitants 
almost  daily,  and  yet  the  wise  conduct  and  unparalleled  bra- 
very of  the  people  saved  them  from  destruction. 

Three  boys  were  attacked  by  six  Indians  a  small  distance 
from  the  block-house  fort  in  the  American  Bottom,  situated 
not  far  from  the  Fountaine  Creek,  where  it  first  enters  the 
Bottom.  David  Waddle  was  struck  with  a  tomahawk  in  three 
places — scalped — made  his  escape  and  recovered.  The  other 
boys  run  to  the  fort  and  were  saved.  James  Turner,  John 
Ferrell,  and  three  others  were  killed  this  year  at  several  times 
by  the  Indians,  and  John  Dempsey  and  another  were  scalped 
and  left  for  dead,  but  recovered. 

These  are  only  the  partial  items  of  the  horrid  and  revolting 
murders  of  this  year.  No  individual,  male  or  female,  night  or 
day,  was  safe.  This  year  may  be  denominated  the  year  of 
blood  in  Illinois.  The  settlement  of  the  present  county  of 
Monroe  must  have  suffered  this  year  by  the  Indians  a  loss  of 
one  out  of  every  ten  of  its  population. 

The  enemy  acted  with  savage  ferocity,  not  only  on  the  in- 
habitants, but  turned  that  same  savage  malignity  to  destroy 
the  animals  of  the  whites.  They  not  only  stole  horses — which 
is  rather  a  beggar  commerce  with  the  Indians — but  destroyed 
the  stock  with  a  wantonness  unparalleled  in  Indian  warfare. 

We  will  abandon  these  horrid  murders  committed  by  the 
Indians  for  a  moment,  and  turn  our  attention  to  the  organiza- 
tion of  the  Northwestern  Territory  and  other  matters  more 

It  will  be  recollected  that  Virginia  ceded  Illinois  to  the 
United  States  in  1784,  and  on  July  13,  1787,  the  ordinance,  so 
called  and  known  in  the  territory,  was  passed  by  congress. 
This  territory  included  five  States,  as  they  are  at  present 
organized  ;  Illinois  being  one.  This  act  of  congress,  which 
-calls  itself  a  compact  as  well  as  an  ordinance,  is  made  the 


foundation  of  all  territorial  governments  organized  since  that 
day.  The  great  and  leading  feature  in  it  is  the  provision 
against  the  introduction  of  slavery  in  the  territory.  This  ordi- 
nance secured  all  the  Northwest  from  slavery.  I  think  con- 
gress has  the  power  to  legislate  on  the  subject,  as  was  done  in 
the  case  before  us;  but  it  is  unwise  and  impolitical  to  act  in 
the  case;  but  permit  the  people  of  the  terr.ory  to  use  their 
own  judgment  on  the  occasion,  whether  they  have  slavery  or 

Arthur  St.Clair  was  appointed  governor  of  this  territory,  and 
remained  in  office  until  the  State  of  Ohio  was  organized,  in 

In  contemplating  the  life  and  character  of  Gov.  St.Clair,  a 
melancholy  reflection  forces  itself  on  us;  as  he  appears  to  be 
a  man  doomed  to  misfortune.  His  motives  and  impulses  were 
pure  and  patriotic;  yet,  in  almost  every  enterprise  or  business 
in  which  he  was  engaged  during  a  long  and  eventful  life,  he 
failed  in  almost  every  instance. 

He  was  born  in  Edinburgh,  in  1734,  and  was  of  good  family, 
but  unknown  to  history.  He  came  to  America  with  Admiral 
Boscowen,  in  1755.  Having  served  in  Canada  as  lieutenant 
under  Gen.  Wolf  in  1759  and  1760,  he  was,  after  the  close  of 
the  war,  appointed  to  the  command  of  Fort  Ligonier,  in  Penn- 
sylvania. When  he  left  the  British  army  is  not  known;  but  in 
December,  1775,  he  was  married  and  held  six  offices  in  the 
State,  to  wit:  clerk  of  the  court,  prothonotory  of  a  court,  judge 
of  probate,  register  of  wills,  recorder  of  deeds,  and  surveyor  of 
the  largest  county  in  the  province.  In  this  same  year,  1775, 
he  acted  as  secretary  to  the  commissioners  who  held  a  treaty 
at  Pittsburg  with  the  Indians.  He  became  known  and  popular; 
so  that  without  solicitation,  he  was,  in  January,  1776,  appointed 
colonel  in  the  continental  army  with  orders  to  raise  a  reg^nent 
to  operate  in  Canada.  He  raised  the  regiment  in  six  weeks, 
and  left  Philadelphia  with  six  companies  on  March  12,  and 
reached  Quebec  on  May  11,  to  cover  the  retreat  of  the  troops 
from  that  place,  while  the  other  four  companies  remained  at 
Sorel,  on  the  St.  Lawrence.  He  was  appointed  brigadier- 
general  on  August  9,  1776,  and  ordered  to  join  Gen.  Washing- 
ton's army,  then  retreating  thro  New  Jersey.  Gen.  St.Clair 


acted  well  his  part  in  the  battles  of  the  Revolution,  at  Trenton 
and  Princeton. 

On  Feb.  9,  1777,  congress  appointed  him  a  major-general, 
and  on  June  5,  he  was  ordered  to  take  command  of  the  fort  at 
Ticonderoga.  He  abandoned  this  fort,  and  altho  it  was  done 
on  the  consultation  of  officers,  yet  the  public  disapproved  of 
it.  A  court-martial  sustained  the  movement,  and  congress,  in 
1778,  confirmed  it.  But  still  the  wound  was  not  healed  in, 
public  estimation. 

Washington  always  retained  his  first  confidence  in  General 
St.  Clair.  He  acted  his  part  well  at  the  battle  and  siege  of 
Yorktown,  at  the  capitulation.  From  this  point  he  was  sent 
with  six  regiments  to  Gen.  Greene  in  South  Carolina,  with 
orders  to  reduce  all  the  British  garrisons  in  North  Carolina. 
These  posts  were  abandoned  at  his  approach,  and  on  Decem- 
ber 27,  1781,  he  joined  Gen.  Greene  at  Jacksonburg.  After 
the  peace,  Gen.  St.  Clair  resided  in  Pennsylvania,  and  was 
elected  a  member  of  congress  in  1786,  and  the  president  of 
that  body  in  1787.  When  the  Northwestern  Territory  was 
established,  in  1787,  he  was  appointed  governor  of  the  terri- 
tory. He  did  not  desire  this  appointment,  but  he  seems  to 
have  acted  on  the  principle  recognized  by  Gen.  Jackson,  "he 
would  neither  ask  or  refuse  office."  St.  Clair  observed  that 
"to  accept  the  office  of  governor  was  the  most  imprudent  act 
of  my  life."  He  was  appointed  in  1788,  and  remained  in  office 
to  the  year  1802,  when  the  State  of  Ohio  was  organized. 

On  July  15,  1788,  Gov.  St.  Clair  appeared  at  Marietta  and 
put  the  machinery  of  government  into  operation  as  far  as  pos- 
sible. Washington  County  was  the  first- organized  county  in 
the  territory.  In  September,  1788,  the  governor  and  United- 
States  judges  for  the  territory — Parsons,  Barnum,  and  Symms 
— prepared  and  adopted  a  code  of  laws  for  the  Northwestern 
Territory,  which  has  formed  the  basis  of  the  statute  laws  of 
all  the  States  formed  out  of  this  territory.  Gov.  St.  Clair  and 
Winthrop  Sargeant,  his  secretary,  in  February,  1790,  arrived 
at  Kaskaskia  and  organized  the  county  of  St.  Clair.  The 
governor  also  appointed  the  various  officers  in  the  new  county 
necessary  to  the  administration  of  justice,  and  partially  adjusted 
the  land -titles  of  the  citizens. 


The  county  of  St.Clair  was  called  for  the  governor  and  was 
bounded  as  follows :  beginning  at  the  mouth  of  the  Little 
Mackinaw  Creek,  where  it  empties  into  the  Illinois  River,  and 
running  a  direct  line  to  the  mouth  of  a  creek  which  empties 
into  the  Ohio  not  far  above  Fort  Massacre ;  then  down  the 
Ohio  to  the  Mississippi;  then  up  that  river  and  the  Illinois  to 
the  place  of  beginning. 

St.Clair  is  the  mother  of  counties  in  Illinois,  and  still  retains 
her  youthful  vigor,  looking  around  with  pleasure  on  her  happy 
offspring.  It  will  be  recollected  that  the  Ancient  Dominion, 
in  October,  1779,  erected  Illinois  into  a  county  of  that  name, 
which  retained  a  kind  of  obsolete  existence  down  to  the  year 
1790,  when  the  county  of  St.Clair  was  carved  out  of  part  of  it. 

Gov.  St.Clair  appointed  William  St.Clair  clerk  of  the  court 
and  recorder  of  deeds  in  St.Clair  County,  and  many  others  to 
office  the  same  year. 

He  had,  in  the  year  1788,  organized  the  second  grade  of  ter- 
ritorial government  and  caused  elections  to  be  held  in  the 
several  counties  which  he  had  established. 

Both  the  branches  of  the  legislature  met  in  Cincinnati,  first, 
on  September  16,  1789,  and  adjourned  on  the  24th  of  the  same 
month.  Knox  County,  at  that  day,  included  both  Vincennes 
and  the  Illinois  country,  and  from  the  Illinois  part  of  Knox 
County,  Shadrach  Bond,  Sr.,  was  elected  to  the  house  of  repre- 

At  that  session  an  excited  struggle  was  had  for  the  election 
of  a  representative  to  congress  from  the  territory.  Public 
opinion  settled  down  on  William  H.  Harrison  and  Arthur 
St.Clair,  Jr.,  the  nephew  of  the  governor.  Harrison  had  eleven 
votes  and  St.Clair  ten.  This  election  came  off  on  Oct.  3,  1799. 

Gen.  St.Clair  died  August  31,  1818,  on  the  top  of  the  Alle- 
ghany  mountains,  in  Pennsylvania. 

Henry  Levens  and  family  settled  in  the  New  Design  in  1797. 
He  landed  at  Fort  Massacre  with  two  teams  and  wagons;  one 
was  an  ox  team.  He  put  a  large  skiff  on  one  wagon,  for  a 
wagon-body  on  land  and  a  ferry-boat  when  they  reached  the 
creeks  that  were  swimming,  on  their  march  to  Kaskaskia.  They 
were  twenty-five  days  in  this  pilgrimage  from  the  Ohio  to  Kas- 


He  emigrated  from  the  western  part  of  Pennsylvania  and  was 
well  calculated  to  brave  all  the  dangers  and  difficulties  incident 
to  the  settlement  of  a  new  country.  He  was  a  very  large,  stout 
man,  and  a  stranger  to  fear.  He  was  not  educated  to  any  great 
extent,  and  was  rather  decisive  and  energetic  in  his  common 
intercourse  with  society.  He  was  kind  and  hospitable  to  those 
he  esteemed,  and  to  those  he  disliked  he  acted  the  reverse. 

He  possessed  rather  a  strong  mind,  but  uncultivated,  which 
was  formed  under  circumstances  unfavorable  to  advance  the 
meek,  mild,  or  amiable  traits  of  the  human  character.  He 
was,  withal,  kind  and  hospitable  to  those,  friend  or  foe,  under 
his  roof;  his  house  was  the  common  hotel  for  dancing  and  con- 
vivial parties.  He  raised  a  large  family,  and  as  the  old  and 
young,  male  and  female,  were  inclined  to  gayety  and  sociability, 
they  indulged  in  the  pleasures  of  the  ballroom  and  other  amuse- 
ments of  a  similar  character.  A  greater  portion  of  his  sons 
and  some  of  his  daughters  played  on  the  violin,  and  all,  young 
and  old,  danced. 

This  family  was  the  centre  of  attraction,  and  many  are  the 
happy  days,  and  particularly  nights,  of  innocent  amusement 
and  recreation,  which  were  enjoyed  in  pioneer  times  at  the 
friendly  and  hospitable  mansion  of  Henry  Levens,  on  Horse 

In  1800,  Levens  erected  a  saw-mill  and  grist-mill  on  Horse 
Creek,  near  his  residence,  and  carried  this  mill  on  with  energy 
and  advantage  to  the  public.  The  lumber  for  nearly  all  the 
flat-boats  built  in  early  times, in  Illinois  was  sawed  at  'this  mill. 
The  sons  of  Levens  were  like  their  father,  active  and  resolute 
men,  and  as  most  other  pioneers,  they,  too,  were  excellent 
hunters  and  marksmen.  The  rifle  with  the  early  settlers  was 
literally  a  staff  of  life,  and  almost  every  one  became  not  only 
expert  with  the  gun  at  the  shooting-match,  but  were  also  excel- 
lent hunters.  Old  Nimrocl  would  have  been  pleased  to  have 
the  young  Levens 'in  his  corps,  as  they  would,  in  the  chase,  do 
honor  to  their  captain. 

The  Levens  family,  while  they  lived  together,  became  more 
wealthy  than  the  neighboring  pioneers.  Their  stock  was  raised, 
winter  and  summer,  without  much  labor,  and  the  mill  and  farm 
yielded  considerable  income;  so  that  the  family  had  the  means 


of  supporting  the  frolics  and  amusements  they  indulged  in.  The 
sons  also  made  something  by  the  peltries  arising  from  hunting. 
The  whole  family  were  active  and  energetic  people;  but  they 
delighted  in  sport  more  than  in  work.  The  gun,  race-horse, 
and  violin  were  articles  of  the  greatest  admiration  in  the  family. 
They  were  strictly  honest  and  extremely  kind  and  hospitable, 
after  the  manner  of  their  father.  The  Levens  family  were  an 
excellent  sample  of  a  prominent  pioneer  family.  They  were 
all  blessed  with  good  intellectual  faculties,  and  were  very  active 
and  energetic,  and  were  also  large  and  portly  men  and  resolute 
to  excess.  For  many  years  there  were  four  or  five  grown  sons 
and  two  daughters  in  the  family  before  any  were  married.  The 
sons  or  father  never  indulged  in  any  great  intemperance,  nor 
much  gaming,  farther  than  amusement. 

The  sons  delighted  in  the  rural  sport  of  foot-racing,  wrest- 
ling, jumping,  etc.  Horce-racing,  shooting-matches,  and  dan- 
cing in  early  times  were  enjoyed  by  almost  the  whole  commu- 
nity, and  the  Levens  family  indulged  in  these  amusements  with 
a  particular  delight.  The  males,  young  and  old,  were  not  bash- 
ful in  a  fight,  in  which  they  indulged  at  times  to  the  great 
discomfiture  of  their  adversaries. 

In  fact,  the  Levens  family  possessed  a  respectable  and  con- 
spicuous standing  in  society,  which,  together  with  the  circum- 
stances already  stated,  enabled  them  to  enjoy  an  uninterrupted 
round  of  pleasure  and  of  happiness  of  the  character  above 

The  aged  sire,  at  last,  like  Boone,  was  interrupted  by  the 
approach  of  neighbors,  which  produced  too  near  him  a  species 
of  mathematical  society,  which  he  disliked,  and  he  sold  out  his 
possession  on  Horse  Creek,  in  1818,  and  moved  to  the  frontiers 
of  Missouri.  He  lived  to  advanced  age  and  died  in  that  State, 
the  aged  patriarch  of  a  large  family. 

The  Indian  murders  and  troubles  seemed  to  increase  in  1790. 
This  may  have  arisen  on  account  of  the  Indians  seeing  the 
Americans  flocking  to  the  country  and  a  government  being 
organized  in  it.  The  red  men  on  this  consideration  may  have 
made  greater  efforts  to  prevent  the  settlement  of  the  country, 
and  thereby  the  natives  would  occupy  the  homes  of  their 
fathers  longer.  This  year  was  a  sad  and  sorrowful  one  with 
the  infant  settlements  of  the  Americans  in  Illinois. 


It  was  mostly  the  Kickapoos  that  were  so  extremely  hostile 
and  ferocious  against  the  whites.  This  nation  resided  nearest 
the  Americans,  and  were  better  armed  and  more  vigorous  than 
the  other  Indians  to  commit  depredations  on  the  settlements. 
And  they  committed  their  savage  warfare  with  a  vengeance 
unequalled  in  any  other  country. 

In  the  winter  of  this  year,  1789,  the  Osage  Indians  crossed 
the  Mississippi  and  stole  some  horses  from  the  whites  in  the 
American  Bottom.  The  Americans  pursued  them  toward  the 
river,  and  James  Worley,  being  in  advance  of  the  rest  of  the 
party,  was  killed  and  scalped  by  the  Indians  before  his  com- 
panions could  rescue  him.  It  was  not  common  for  the  Osages 
to  commit  depredations  on  the  whites  on  this  side  of  the  river. 
It  was  stated  that  the  Indians  cut  off  the  head  of  Worley  and 
threw  it  in  savage  triumph  toward  the  whites  as  they  advanced. 
I  presume  that  when  Worley  was  killed  and  the  whites  found 
that  the  Indians  outnumbered  them,  that  they  recaptured  the 
horses  and  came  off  about  "second  best." 

William  Morrison  emigrated  from  Philadelphia  to  Kaskaskia 
in  1790.  He  was  recognized  by  the  act  of  congress  granting 
land  to  all  those  who  were  enrolled  in  Illinois  for  military  duty 
on  August  i  of  that  year.  He  was  a  native  of  Bucks  County, 
Pennsylvania,  and  soon  became,  after  his  arrival  in  Illinois,  one 
of  the  most  influential  and  conspicuous  characters  in  the  coun- 
try. He  was  a  self-made  man,  casting  his  lot  in  a  new  wild 
country  and  depending  on  his  own  resources  for  fortune  and 
fame,  and  he  accomplished  both  in  an  eminent  degree.  Like 
most  great  men,  he  never  underwent  the  drudgery  of  a  scho- 
lastic education.  Whether  his  means  or  other  circumstances 
prevented  it,  I  know  not;  however,  such  was  the  fact  that  he 
acquired  barely  an  English  education  at  the  schools ;  but  he 
studied  in  nature's  great  academy  and  became  a  very  eminent 
man.  His  natural  genius  and  talents  were  of  such  high  order 
that  he  acquired  information  at  every  step  he  made  thro  a  long 
and  eventful  life.  His  business  and  his  proper  sense  of  pro- 
priety enabled  him  to  frequent  the  higher  circles  of  society  and 
thereby  become  one  of  the  eminent.  He  made  one  of  the 
most  interesting  and  conspicuous  characters  in  every  society 
wherein  he  associated.  Dignity  and  polish  of  manners  seemed 


to  be  natural  with  him.  He  was  a  polished  gentleman  without 
effort.  Nothing  little  or  cramped  existed  in  his  character.  His 
mind  and  impulses  were  fashioned  on  a  large  scale.  It  is  seldom 
united  in  the  same  person,  the  strength  of  mind  and  the  polish 
of  manners  that  were  blended  together  in  the  character  of  Wil- 
liam Morrison.  He  was  not  only  kind  and  benevolent  in  all 
his  relations  with  society,  but  also  honest  and  upright.  As  to 
a  husband,  he  was  everything  that  would  make  a  wife's  heart 
overflow  with  love  for  him,  and  a  kind  and  indulgent  father  to 
his  children. 

Morrison  came  to  Illinois,  ambitious,  enterprising,  and  talented. 
He  located  himself  in  the  centre  of  the  great  valley  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi, where  his  talents  and  energies  had  ample  scope  for 
operation,  and  most  nobly  and  honorably  did  he  execute  his 
destiny.  By  his  great  activity  and  sound  judgment,  he  was  the 
head  and  front  of  almost  all  the  commercial  operations  of  Illi- 
nois and  upper  Louisiana  during  a  long  series  of  years.  He 
was  associated  with  his  uncle,  Guy  Bryant  of  Philadelphia,  in 
merchandising,  and  the  firm  of  Bryant  &  Morrison  was  known 
throughout  the  West  as  one  of  great  wealth  and  honorable 
standing.  Bryant  did  not  himself  operate  in  the  West;  so  that 
his  partner,  Morrison,  had  the  control  of  all  the  commercial 
business  of  this  vast  region  of  country.  The  commercial  busi- 
ness of  this  house  extended  from  Kaskaskia  around  to  Pitts- 
burg,  New  Orleans,  Prairie  du  Chien,  and  the  Rocky  Moun- 
tains, and  William  Morrison  was  the  master  spirit  that  managed 
and  conducted  all  these  vast  mercantile  transactions  to  a  suc- 
cessful termination.  No  ordinary  talents  could  combine,  con- 
trol, and  execute  with  success  all  this  complicated  machinery. 
It  required  the  first  order  of  intellect,  and  such  was  Nature's 
gift  to  this  great  and  noble  pioneer. 

Kaskaskia  was,  when  he  came  to  Illinois,  one  of  the  largest 
towns  west  of  the  Alleghany  Mountains,  and  possessed  not 
only  its  central  position  for  commerce,  but  had  many  other 
advantages,  and  he  settled  himself  in  it. 

By  his  industry  and  energy,  he  became  very  wealthy.     His 

main  store,  wholesale  and  retail,  he  kept   in   Kaskaskia,  and 

from  it  the  merchants  of  St.  Louis,  Ste.  Genevieve,  Cape  Girar- 

deau,  and  New  Madrid  received  their  goods.     About  1800,  he 



established  a  store  in  Cahokia  and  placed  in  it  a  clerk — William 
Atchison.  This  clerk  was  a  singular  and  eccentric  Irishman. 
He  soon,  by  excessively  high  prices,  acquired  by  derision  the 
name  of  Chape  Wollie,  which  he  retained  while  he  remained 
in  the  store. 

Many  anecdotes  are  told  on  this  Irishman.  Rev.  Benjamin 
Young,  a  Methodist  circuit  rider,  at  the  request  of  Chape 
Wollie,  preached  at  his  store  in  Cahokia  in  1807,  and  it  turned 
out  that  Young  had  a  small  congregation.  Atchison  made 
excuses  for  his  French  neighbors  not  attending  the  preaching. 
"  For  his  part,"  he  said,  "he  would  walk,  on  Sunday,  miles  thro 
briars  and  hell  to  hear  such  a  sermon  as  that  ye  prached ;  but 

these  d d  French  love  dancing  better  than  praching.  An', 

Misther  Young,  could  ye  not  stay  with  us  tonight  and  go  to 
the  ball  this  evening  ? "  The  Methodist  preacher  begged  off 
from  Mr.  Atchison's  civility  in  going  to  the  dancing-party  on 
Sunday  evening. 

Mr.  Morrison  furnished  the  Indians  and  Indian  traders  with 
great  quantities  of  goods,  and  on  them  a  great  profit  was 

He  accumulated  great  quantities  of  land,  which  descended 
to  his  children ;  yet  he  was  not  what  is  known  as  a  land  specu- 
lator. He  purchased  much,  but  sold  little. 

About  the  time  his  store  opened  in  Cahokia,  he  encouraged 
the  farmers  of  the  New  Design,  and,  in  fact,  throughout  all  the 
sparse  settlements  at  that  time,  to  cultivate  wheat,  He  com- 
menced a  commerce  in  flour.  He  conveyed  the  wheat  to  Edgar's 
mill,  near  Kaskaskia,  and  had  it  there  manufactured  into  flour. 
Flat-boats  were  built  at  Levens'  mill,  on  Horse  Creek,  and  on 
them  and  other  vessels  he  shipped  the  flour  to  New  Orleans. 

He  was  generally  fortunate  in  his  voyages  on  the  river;  but 
a  large  boat  laden  with  wheat  from  Cahokia  and  bound  to  Kas- 
kaskia, struck  a  sawyer  in  the  river  above  Ste.  Genevieve  and 
sunk  with  the  entire  loss  of  the  wheat.  I  think  there  were 
more  sawyers  in  the  river  at  that  day  than  at  present. 

For  a  long  series  of  years,  he  carried  on  a  heavy  commerce 
on  the  Mississippi,  between  Kaskaskia  and  New  Orleans.  He 
shipped  to  Pittsburg  and  New  Orleans  almost  all  the  surplus 
products  of  the  country,  to  wit:  peltries,  furs,  lead,  flour,  horses, 


etc.,  and  returned  with  articles  for  the  consumption  of  the  people. 
His  boats  were  large  and  of  the  first  class  of  that  day.  On  these 
large  barges  it  required  forty  or  fifty  boatmen  to  force  them  up 
against  the  strong  current  of  the  Mississippi,  and  it  sometimes 
occupied  four  or  five  months  to  make  the  voyage  from  Kaskas- 
kia  to  New  Orleans  and  back. 

In  1804,  a  fine  young  Creole  Frenchman,  La  Chappelle  of 
Kaskaskia,  had  charge  of  his  boat  laden  with  a  costly  cargo, 
worth  probably  fifty  thousand  dollars,  and  he  died  on  the  voy- 
age up,  at  Natchez.  When  the  commander,  La  Chappelle,  died, 
none  other  on  the  boat  was  competent  to  take  command.  Many 
others  of  the  men  also  died  on  the  voyage,  so  that  the  boat  was 
left  at  Natchez.  The  cargo  was  put  in  a  warehouse,  but  the 
liquors  and  wines  leaked  out  of  the  casks,  and  other  articles 
also  were  destroyed,  so  that  the  whole  cargo  was  almost  entirely 

In  1801,  he  built  a  fine  stone-house  in  Kaskaskia  and  fur- 
nished it  in  an  elegant  manner.  This  house,  at  that  day,  was 
the  best  in  the  country,  and  in  it  he  lived  in  a  princely  style. 
At  his  table,  with  his  friends  and  family,  he  displayed  the  hos- 
pitality and  elegant  bearing  of  a  well-bred  gentleman. 

In  the  war  of  1812,  with  Great  Britain,  he  obtained  the  con- 
tract for  this  military  district  to  furnish  rations  to  the  troops; 
and  with  his  talents,  energy,  and  wealth,  he  performed  the 
responsible  duties  to  the  satisfaction  of  all  concerned.  Out  of 
this  contract  he  made  a  large  sum  of  money,  altho  he  abounded 
in  wealth  before. 

The  garrisons  to  be  furnished  were  situated  from  Prairie  du 
Chien  to  the  extreme  South  and  throughout  the  West.  They 
were  punctually  supplied  with  rations,  altho  so  remote  from  the 
settlements  and  surrounded  by  hostile  Indians. 

He  employed  Thomas  Van  Swearengen  and  John  Postlewait, 
two  men  well  known  here  at  that  time,  to  take  charge  of  beef- 
cattle  along  with  Harrison's  army  to  the  battle  of  Tippecanoe, 
in  the  fall  of  1811.  Swearengen  and  Postlewait  were  bold  and 
daring  characters,  and  withal,  men  of  strong  minds.  They  had 
no  guns  or  arms  at  the  commencement  of  the  battle,  and  were 
sleeping  in  a  wagon.  The  Indians'  bullets  soon  shattered  off 
the  splinters  of  the  wagon  into  their  faces,  which  compelled 


them  to  enter  the  battle-field.  They  soon  found  guns  and  other 
weapons,  whose  owners  were  already  killed  in  the  battle.  With 
these  arms,  these  two  men  sought  the  hottest  of  the  conflict  and 
fought  with  such  cool  and  determined  bravery  that  they  excited 
the  admiration  of  the  whole  army. 

Mr.  Morrison  possessed  a  public  spirit  and  was  ready  and 
willing  to  enter  into  public  improvements  that  would  advance 
the  interests  of  the  country.  He  was  the  main  pillar  in  erect- 
ing two  bridges  across  the  Kaskaskia  River;  one  adjacent  to 
the  town  of  Kaskaskia  and  the  other  at  Covington,  in  Washing- 
ton County.  That  at  Covington  he  built  himself. 

He  was  exemplary  in  his  morals  and  never  indulged  in  light 
and  frivolous  amusements.  Gambling  and  drunkenness  he 
abhorred.  When  the  graceful  and  noble  animal,  the  race-horse, 
was  led  out  on  the  turf  at  Kaskaskia,  he  frequently  attended 
the  races  and  became  much  excited  in  the  sport.  He  at  times 
bet  on  the  race  a  suit  of  clothes  with  a  friend,  or  some  such 
small  amount,  and  cared  very  little  whether  he  lost  or  won. 

His  personal  appearance  was  dignified,  commanding,  and  pre- 
possessing. He  was  of  the  ordinary  size  of  men,  and  in  his 
advanced  age,  rather  inclined  to  be  corpulent.  Energy  and 
activity  were  discernable  in  his  walks  and  movements,  as  well 
as  in  all  his  conduct.  He  made  it  one  of  his  fixed  principles 
to  dress  richly  and  with  taste  and  elegance.  He  had  a  just 
sense  of  propriety  on  this  subject.  He  was  always  uneasy 
when  in  company  with  a  sloven.  He  often  said  that  a  man 
frequently  made  his  fortune  by  a  decent  appearance.  He  was 
always  extremely  gallant  and  polite  to  the  ladies,  and  often 
advised  his  friends  to  frequent  female  society.  He  said  intelli- 
gent and  correct  female  society  was  the  great  lever  to  govern 
human  actions  and  to  promote  morals  and  religion. 

Mr.  Morrison  possessed  a  decided  and  marked  character. 
His  predominent  traits  were  a  strong  mind  and  great  energy. 
All  his  impulses  were  of  the  noble  and  elevated  order. 

Toward  the  close  of  his  earthly  career,  he  became  interested 
in  religious  matters,  and  after  due  reflection,  he  joined  the 
Roman-catholic  church.  He  devoted  much  of  his  attention  to 
the  church  before  his  death,  and  performed  all  the  duties  en- 
joined upon  him  with  a  sincere  devotion. 


He  died  in  the  arms  of  the  church,  praising  God.  His  death, 
altho  he  was  aged,  was  much  regretted  by  the  community,  as 
"one  of  the  great  had  fallen  in  Israel."  He  died  in  April,  1837, 
and  his  remains  rest  in  peace  and  quiet  in  the  old  graveyard  at 
Kaskaskia,  where  he,  in  his  life,  displayed  so  much  energy  and 
activity.  How  death  changes  the  scene! 

In  1798,  Robert  and  James  Morrison,  brothers  of  William, 
arrived  in  Kaskaskia  from  Pennsylvania.  Robert  remained  an 
inhabitant  of  Kaskaskia  during  life.  He  held  various  offices 
under  the  territorial  governments  and  performed  the  duties  to 
the  satisfaction  of  the  public.  This  gentleman  was  extremely 
civil  and  polite  to  all  persons,  and  particularly  to  strangers. 
His  house  was  made  the  home  of  many  gentlemen  of  merit 
whose  means  were  limited.  It  afforded  Mr.  Morrison  great 
pleasure  to  extend  to  his  friends  the  civilities  and  hospitalities 
of  his  table.  He  died  in  Kaskaskia  in  1842,  much  regretted 
by  his  family,  friends,  and  the  public. 

He  married  in  1806,  his  second  wife,  a  sprightly  and  talented 
lady  from  Baltimore.  This  lady,  Mrs.  Robert  Morrison,  being 
of  wealthy  and  respectable  family,  received  an  excellent  educa- 
tion and  was,  in  fact,  a  finished  and  classic  scholar.  She  pos- 
sessed a  strong,  original,  and  sprightly  mind.  She  was  endowed 
with  strong  perceptions  and  much  originality  of  thought.  Her 
mind  disdained  the  ancient  shackles  of  any  system  when  its 
strength  was  based  on  its  antiquity  alone  for  its  support. 

Nature  gave  her  rather  a  romantic  turn  of  mind,  and  by  rea- 
son of  this  disposition,  she  accompanied  her  brother,  Colonel 
Donaldson,  from  Baltimore  to  the  West,  in  1805.  He  was  a 
commissioner  to  investigate  the  land -titles  at  St.  Louis,  Mis- 
souri, and  his  sister,  Mrs.  Morrison,  after  her  marriage,  made 
her  residence  at  Kaskaskia  in  1806.  She,  like  most  others  who 
are  endowed  by  nature  with  rare  gifts,  possessed  great  energy 
and  activity  of  mind.  Her  delight  and  home  were  in  the  rosy 
fields  of  poetry.  Her  grave  deserves  to  be  decorated  with 
flowers.  Her  versification  was  decided  by  critics  to  be  far 
above  medium  and  many  of  her  pieces  to  reach  the  higher 
order  of  poetry. 

She  remodeled  in  verse  the  old  orthodox  Psalms  of  David, 
and  had  the  volume  presented  to  the  dignitaries  of  the  church 


in  Philadelphia  for  adoption,  instead  of  the  Psalms  used  in  the 
church.  The  divines  gave  the  work  of  Mrs.  Morrison  a  critical 
examination,  and  barely  rejected  it,  more  by  its  advent  from  an 
unknown  individual  than  from  a  want  of  merit.  Her  pen  was 
never  idle.  She  wrote  for  the  scientific  publications  of  Mr. 
Walsh  of  Philadelphia,  and  many  of  her  pieces  in  prose  and 
verse  grace  and  sustain  that  celebrated  work.  Her  contribu- 
tions to  periodicals  were  numerous  and  highly  prized.  Many 
of  the  political  characters  of  Illinois  in  early  times  were  greatly 
benefited  and  advanced  by  her  energetic  and  talented  produc- 
tions in  the  newspaper  discussions  of  that  day. 

This  lady  wrote,  on  many  occasions,  at  the  request  of  her 
friends,  petitions  and  memorials  to  congress  and  to  the  presi- 
dent that  were  chaste  and  classic  in  their  composition  and 
sound  and  substantial  in  their  appeals  made  to  the  general 
government.  For  this  class  of  writing  this  lady  was  celebrated 
and  much  esteemed  by  her  friends. 

She  entered  thoroly  into  the  investigation  of  the  various 
religious  systems.  She  became  a  Presbyterian,  but  on  further 
research  and  much  reflection,  she  entered  the  Roman-catholic 
church  and  became  a  very  warm  and  zealous  member. 

This  lady  was  ardent  and  enthusiastic  in  all  her  pursuits.  She 
was  also  ambitious  of  honor  and  fame  and  possessed  a  force  of 
character  that  was  almost  irresistible.  By  her  example  and  in- 
fluence almost  all  who  came  within  her  circle  became  Roman 
catholics  and  joined  that  church. 

She  lived  to  an  advanced  age  and  died  in  Belleville  in  1843, 
much  regretted  by  her  friends  and  the  public  generally. 

The  fruit  of  the  marriage  of  Mr.  Morrison  with  this  lady  was 
an  interesting  family,  three  of  whom  are  now  alive.  These 
three  sons  were  born  in  Kaskaskia  and  are  at  this  time  con- 
spicuous members  of  the  bar. 

Jesse  Morrison,  who  is  the  youngest  of  the  family,  emigrated 
to  the  country  in  1805.  He  and  his  brother,  James,  formed  a 
commercial  partnership  and  established  themselves  at  St.  Charles 
in  Missouri.  Both  these  gentlemen  raised  large  and  respectable 
families.  Jesse  Morrison  is  now  a  resident  of  Galena,  Illinois, 
enjoying,  amidst  a  large  number  of  relatives  and  friends,  the 
happiness  of  a  well-spent  life.  He  has  reached  that  elevated 


stand  of  human  nature  when  all  the  wild  and  unruly  passions 
have  subsided  and  the  perfection  of  that  nature  remains  trium- 
phant; so  that  he,  in  his  old  age,  tastes  some  of  the  bliss  laid 
up  beyond  the  grave  for  the  upright  and  just. 

Samuel  Morrison,  a  brother  of  the  above,  arrived  in  Kaskas- 
kia in  1807.  He  was  a  moral  and  excellent  youth.  He  did 
business  for  his  brother  and  remained  in  Kaskaskia  until,  it  was 
said,  a  young  lady,  whose  beauty  and  charms  were  so  irresistible 
that  she  wove  a  web  of  love  around  him  from  which  he  could 
not  extricate  himself  till  he  called  in  time  and  distance  for 
relief.  He  was  too  young  and  unsettled  to  extricate  himself 
from  love  by  marriage.  For  redress,  he  embarked  in  the  Rocky- 
Mountain  Company  of  Emanual  Liza  and  others,  and  trapped 
and  traded  with  the  Indians  on  the  mountains  for  three  years. 
He  returned  home  safe  and  cured  of  his  love  monomania. 

He  returned  home  in  181 1,  and  some  time  afterward  married. 
He  made  his  residence  at  Covington,  Washington  County,  111., 
where  he  died  in  1828.  He  was  universally  respected  and  es- 
teemed, and  his  death  was  lamented  and  regretted  by  a  great 
portion  of  the  community. 

Another  brother,  Guy  Morrison,  emigrated  to  Kaskaskia  in 
1814,  and  soon  entered  into  the  business  of  his  brother  William 
at  Cahokia.  He  was  employed  in  furnishing  provisions  to  the 
army.  He,  like  the  others  of  the  family,  possessed  a  strong 
mind  and  great  energy,  so  that  he  was  an  efficient  agent  for  his 
brother  in  the  contract  with  the  United  States.  He  remained 
in  Cahokia  eleven  years,  and  became  well  acquainted  with  the 
people  and  the  manner  of  doing  business  in  Illinois.  He  mar- 
ried and  turned  all  his  energies  of  mind  and  body  to  agriculture. 
He  located  himself  on  a  fine  farm  in  the  American  Bottom, 
northwest  of  Collinsville,  in  1826,  and  with  his  sound  judgment 
and  unbounded  activity,  has  acquired  an  immense  fortune.  His 
rents  annually  and  increase  arising  from  his  farms  are  eight  or 
ten  thousand  bushels  of  grain.  His  income  every  year  must 
amount  to  twelve  or  fifteen  thousand  dollars.  His  lands  are 
well  selected  and  valuable. 

With  all  this  wealth,  he  is  a  plain  business  man,  without  osten- 
tation or  parade.  He  resides  at  this  time  in  Collinsville,  in  a 
plain,  neat  style  and  is  always  pleased  to  receive  and  entertain 


his  friends  in  his  hospitable  mansion.  He  has  no  children  to- 
inherit  his  fortune. 

A  singular  lady  pioneer  emigrated  to  Cahokia  from  the  lakes 
about  1770.  She  was  born  of  French  parents  of  the  name  of 
LaFlamme,  at  St.  Joseph,  on  Lake  Michigan,  in  1734.  She  first 
emigrated  to  Mackinac,  and  after  residing  there  some  time, 
settled  at  Chicago  with  her  husband,  Sainte  Ange,  or  Pelate,  as 
he  was  sometimes  called,  about  1765.  Sainte  Ange  dying,  she 
married  M.  La  Compt,  a  Canadian,  in  Cahokia,  about  1780. 
From  this  marriage  proceeded  one  of  the  largest  French  fami- 
lies in  Illinois.  After  the  death  of  La  Compt,  her  second  hus- 
band, she  married  the  celebrated  Thomas  Brady.  They  had 
no  issue.  This  female  pioneer  possessed  a  strong  mind,  with 
the  courage  and  energies  of  a  heroine.  She  was  also  blessed 
with  an  extraordinary  constitution.  She  was  scarcely  ever  sick, 
altho  exposed  often  in  traveling  and  otherwise  to  the  inclemency 
of  the  weather  and  other  hardships. 

The  Indians  were  her  neighbors  and  friends  from  her  infancy 
to  nearly  her  death.  By  a  wise  and  proper  course  with  these 
wild  men,  and  by  sage  councils  to  promote  their  interest,  she 
acquired  a  great  influence  over  the  Pottawatomies,  Kickapoos,. 
and  other  nations  bordering  on  the  lakes. 

She  was  familiar  not  only  with  the  language  of  the  Indians,, 
but  also  with  their  character.  In  the  early  American  settle- 
ments of  the  country,  from  1781  down  to  the  peace  in  1795,. 
this  lady  prevented  many  an  Indian  attack  on  the  white  popula- 
tion. The  Indians  often  became  hostile  to  the  French  during 


the  American  Revolution,  by  the  intrigues  of  the  British,  as  the 
French  had  joined  Clark  ii^the  capture  of  the  British  garrisons 
in  the  West. 

On  many  occasions  this  lady  was  awakened  in  the  dead  hours 
of  the  night  by  her  Indian  friends,  from  the  hostile  warriors, 
informing  her  of  the  intended  attack,  that  she  might  leave 
Cahokia.  Her  friends  among  the  Indians  could  not  think  of 
permitting  her  to  be  killed.  She  has  started  often  to  meet 
some  hundreds  of  warriors  who  were  camped  near  the  Quentine 
Mound,  at  the  foot  of  the  bluff,  near  the  present  French  Village, 
or  at  some  other  place  in  the  neighborhood.  She  would  cause 
herself  to  be  conveyed  near  the  Indian  camp,  perhaps,  in  the 


night,  and  then  dismiss  her  company  and  proceed  on  foot  to 
the  camp  of  the  Indians.  No  one  knew  the  Indian  character 
better  than  she  did.  A  female  on  foot  approaching  several 
hundred  armed  warriors  would  produce  a  sympathy  that  she 
followed  up  with  wise  councils  to  the  Indians  that  were  irresisti- 
ble. She  often  remained  with  them  for  days  and  nights,  appeas- 
ing their  anger.  She  never  failed  to  avert  the  storm  and  pre-- 
vent  bloodshed.  The  inhabitants  of  the  village  were  often' 
waiting  with  their  arms  in  their  hands,  ready  for  defence,  when 
they  would  see  this  extraordinary  woman  escorting  to  the  vil- 
lage a  great  band  of  warriors,  changed  from  war  to  peace.  The 
Indians  were  painted  black,  indicating  the  sorrow  they  enter- 
tained for  their  hostile  movements  against  their  friends.  The 
Indians  were  feasted  for  days  in  the  village.  They  would1! 
remain  in  peace  for  some  time  after  these  reconciliations. 

Mrs.  LaCompt,  as  she  was  commonly  called  after  Brady's- 
death,  lived  to  an  extreme  old  age  and  died  in  Cahokia  in- 
1843,  at  the  age  of  one  hundred  and  nine  years. 

I  knew  this  old  lady  for  thirty  or  more  years,  and  I  believe 
that  her  health  and  longevity  depended  much  on  her  hardy  and 
frugal  mode  of  living.  She  never  feared  the  inclemency  of  the 
weather.  The  health  of  more  people  is  injured  by  walking  on 
fine,  rich  carpets,  between  the  piano  and  the  air-tight  stove,, 
than  by  walking  on  the  ice  and  snow  in  the  open  air. 

The  increase  of  the  population  in  Illinois  diminished  the  wild 
game.  The  migratory  race  of  fowls  in  early  times  were  quite 
numerous  near  the  Mississippi  and  Illinois  River.  Swans,  geese, 
brants,  cranes,  and  ducks  passed  north  in  the  spring  and  south 
in  the  fall,  in  immense  flocks.  On  their  passage  they  remained 
a  short  time  in  the  lowlands  of  the  river,  where  the  hunters 
killed  great  numbers.  In  the  fall,  cranes  were  the  first  that 
made  their  appearance.  They  rose  so  high  in  the  air  that  they 
were  scarcely  visible.  These  fowls  wintered  in  the  swamps 
south,  toward  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  and  hatched  in  the  summer 
on  the  shores  of  the  lakes.  They,  like  the  Indians,  have  almost 
entirely  disappeared  on  the  approach  of  the  white  population. 

The  honey-bee  acts  on  the  reverse  of  the  instincts  of  the 
fowls.  The  bees  do  not  much  precede  the  white  population. 
There  is  nothing  the  Indians  dislike  more  than  to  see  the  bee 


arrive  in  the  country.  They  know  then  that  the  white  man  is 
not  far  behind.  The  bees  came  to  Illinois  from  Kentucky  and 
the  Northwest  Territory. 

The  flowers  in  the  prairies  sustained  great  numbers  of  bees. 
At  one  time,  in  Illinois,  the  wild  honey-bees  were  very  plenty. 

In  1790,  an  enterprising  and  very  conspicuous  character,  John 
Rice  Jones,  arrived  in  Kaskaskia  and  located  himself  there. 
Mr.  Jones  was  born  February  10,  1759,  in  Merionthshire,  Wales. 
He  received  a  classical  education  in  the  old  country.  He  was 
a  regular  college  graduate ;  he  studied  law  in  Great  Britain. 
He  was  a  good  linguist,  having  become  well  acquainted  with 
the  Greek,  Latin,  and  French,  as  well  as  the  English.  The 
soundness  of  his"  mind  enabled  him  also  to  become  an  excel- 
lent mathematician,  which  he  preferred  to  all  other  science. 
He  was,  in  fact,  an  accomplished  scholar,  and  with  these  advan- 
tages, soon  became  a  scientific  and  profound  lawyer,  and  thro 
life  he  was  a  sound  and  enlightened  expounder  of  it. 

In  1780,  Mr.  Jones  emigrated  to  the  United  States  and 
settled  in  Philadelphia.  He  opened  a  law-office  in  that  city 
and  practised  his  profession  there  for  some  time.  During  this 
time,  he  became  acquainted  with  Dr.  Franklin,  Dr.  Rush,  Myers 
Fisher,  and  other  distinguished  characters. 

He  left  Philadelphia  and  emigrated  to  Vincennes  in  1787, 
when  the  Northwest  Territory  was  organized. 

Mr.  Jones,  the  next  year,  1788,  assisted  William  Briggs  to 
return  to  his  family  in  the  New  Design  in  Illinois  from  his  cap- 
tivity with  the  Indians. 

In  1790,  he  settled  in  Kaskaskia  and  there  practised  his  pro- 
fession. He  was  the  first  practising  lawyer  in  Illinois  and 
would  be  a  conspicuous  member  of  his  profession  in  any  coun- 
try. He  possessed  a  strong  and  active  mind,  rather  restless, 
and  excessively  energetic.  This  energy  of  character  enabled 
him  to  practise  law  in  important  cases  at  different  times  of  his 
life  throughout  the  West;  Louisville,  Ky.,  Vincennes,  Indiana, 
Kaskaskia,  Cahokia,  Illinois,  and  many  of  the  courts  in  Mis- 
souri, after  the  cession  of  the  country,  in  1803,  from  France  to 
the  United  States.  Mr.  Jones  being  an  excellent  French  scholar, 
enabled  him  to  do  the  business  of  the  French  population  to  the 
advantage  of  both  parties. 


He  always  employed  his  time  in  some  honorable  business 
and  never  permitted  himself  to  be  idle  or  engaged  in  light  or 
frivolous  amusements.  Like  most  of  his  countrymen,  he  pos- 
sessed strong  passions,  and  at  times,  altho  he  possessed  a  strong 
mind,  his  passions  swept  over  his  reason  like  a  tornado.  His 
friendships  were  ardent  and  sincere,  and  his  hatred  and  anger 
were  excessively  scathing  for  the  moment.  When  his  feelings 
of  ire  were  excited,  his  words  burnt  his  victims  like  drops  of 
molten  lead  on  the  naked  skin.  He  was  mild  and  amiable 
until  some  injury  or  insult,  as  he  supposed,  was  offered  to  him; 
then  he  burst  asunder  all  restraints  and  stood  out  the  fearless 
champion  of  his  right,  bidding  defiance  to  all  opposition.  He 
possessed  a  great  degree  of  personal  courage. 

In  the  forepart  of  1802,  he  again  moved  to  Vincennes  and 
was  appointed  a  United-States  judge  of  the  Indiana  Territory. 
He  and  Col.  Johnson  revised  the  statute  laws  of  Indiana  in 
1807,  and  the  legislature  of  that  State  enacted  them  with  very 
little  alteration.  The  substance  of  these  acts  is  still  retained  in 
our  statute-books,  as  Illinois  at  that  time  comprised  a  part  of 

In  1810,  Judge  Jones  moved  to  St.  Louis,  Missouri,  but  did 
not  reside  there  any  great  time,  but  settled  in  Washington 
•County,  Missouri,  at  Petosi. 

Here  he  found  Moses  Austin,  with  whom  he  formed  a  part- 
nership in  the  lead  business.  They  erected  the  first  cupola  or 
reverberating  furnace  ever  made  in  the  United  States.  By  this 
furnace,  fifteen  or  twenty  per  cent  more  lead  can  be  extracted 
from  the  ore  than  by  the  former  furnaces. 

Judge  Jones  was  a  member  elected  from  Washington  County, 
Missouri,  to  form  the  first  constitution  of  that  State.  Jones 
was  a  wise  and  efficient  member  of  that  convention,  which  sat 
in  St.  Louis  in  1819.  He  was  a  candidate  before  the  next 
general  assembly  of  the  State  for  the  United-States  senate,  but 
Col.  Benton  was  elected. 

Judge  Jones  was  elected  by  the  same  legislature  one  of  the 
judges  of  the  supreme  court  of  Missouri,  which  office  he  retained 
during  his  life.  His  decisions  in  the  supreme  court  were  always 
.much  respected  by  the  bar  and  the  public. 

He  died  in  St.  Louis,  while  in  office,  in  1824,  and  was  nearly 


sixty-five  years  of  age.  On  his  death-bed  he  said  "  he  did  not 
desire  to  live  any  longer,  as  he  could  be  of  no  further  use  to  his 
family  or  country,  and  might  be  a  source  of  trouble  if  he  lived 
any  longer."  Hz  was  perfectly  resigned  to  his  fate  and  died 
with  that  calm  composure  that  always  .attends  the  exit  of  the 
"  noblest  work  of  God,"  an  honest  man. 

The  person  of  Judge  Jones  was  small,  but  erect  and  active. 
His  complexion  was  dark  and  his  hair  and  eyes  very  black. 
His  eye,  when  excited,  was  severe  and  piercing. 

Judge  Jones  lived  a  life  of  great  activity  and  was  conspicuous 
and  prominent  in  all  the  important  transactions  of  the  country. 
In  his  youth,  altho  not  bred  to  the  military  profession,  yet  he 
was  engaged  in  the  wars  against  the  Indians,  both  in  Indiana 
and  Illinois.  The  death  of  Judge  Jones  was  regretted  by  a 
wide  circle  of  friends  and  the  public  generally.  His  integrity, 
honor,  and  honesty  were  always  above  doubt  or  suspicion.  He 
was  exemplary  in  his  moral  habits  and  lived  a  temperate  and 
orderly  man  in  all  things.  He  left  a  large  and  respectable 
family.  His  sons  have  filled,  with  credit  to  themselves,,  many 
of  the  most  important  offices  in  the  country,  and  one,  at  this 
time — Hon.  G.  W.  Jones — is  in  the  senate  of  the  United  States 
from  the  State  of  Iowa. 

Rice  Jones,  the  eldest  son  of  John  Rice  Jones,  was  born  in 
Philadelphia  in  1781.  When  his  age  permitted,  he  was  placed 
in  the  institution  in  Kentucky,  and  was  a  classmate  of  the  late 
Colonel  Richard  M.  Johnson  of  that  State.  Young  Jones  was 
endowed  with  great  intellectual  powers  and  thereby  made  rapid 
advances  in  his  education.  He  quitted  the  school  in  Kentucky 
with  a  reputation  for  talents  and  education  not  inferior  to  any 
student  that  was  at  the  institution. 

After  finishing  his  education,  he  studied  medicine  in  Phila- 
delphia, and  graduated  from  the  medical  school  with  a  diploma 
and  what  is  better,  with  much  honor. 

After  practising  medicine  a  short  time  and  disliking  that  pro- 
fession, he  abandoned  it  and  commenced,  in  Litchfied,  Conn., 
the  study  of  the  law.  After  some  years  of  intense  study,  he 
quitted  the  institution  with  increased  honor. 

He  located  himself  in  Kaskaskia  in  1806,  and  opened  a  law- 
office.  No  young  man  at  that  day,  and  not  many  since,  com- 


inenced  with  prospects  of  a  more  brilliant  career  of  life  than 
Rice  Jones  did.  He  possessed  a  strong  intellect,  but  was  also 
•endowed  with  an  excessive  ambition,  together  with  an  ardent 
;and  impetuous  disposition,  and  showed  the  Welsh  temper  more 
:than  his  father.  He  practised  his  profession  some  time  and  his 
;friends  needed  his  talents  and  energies  in  their  political  cam- 

.Party  spirit  raged  in  and  about  Kaskaskia  with  a  violence 
:not  equalled  at  any  time  since.  Many  of  the  prominent  poli- 
•ticians  were  almost  crazy  on  the  subject.  Young  Jones  caught 
'.the  mania  and  became  excessively  zealous.  Altho  he  was 
y®ung,  yet  from  his  talents  and  energy  he  was  at  the  head  of 
one  of  the  parties  in  that  day.  He  had  been  elected  a  member 
,of  the  legislature  of  Indiana,  held  at  Vincennes,  and  was  be- 
coming a  very  conspicuous  character  in  the  country.  The  other 
•party  did  not  like  his  prominency  or  standing  with  the  people. 

In  this  excited  state  of  the  parties,  and  Jones  at  the  head  of 
.one  party,  it  was  not  difficult  for  the  parties  to  quarrel  or  even 

A  controversy  growing  out  of  politics  commenced  between 
him  and  Shadrach  Bond,  the  first  governor  elect  for  the  State 
.of  Illinois,  and  a  duel  between  those  persons  (Jones  and  Bond) 
was  agreed  upon.     The  parties  met  on  an  island  in  the  Missis- 
sippi, between  Ste.  Genevieve  and   Kaskaskia,  and  when  they 
had  taken  their  positions  and  about  to  fire,  Jones'  pistol,  having 
.a  hair  trigger,  went  off  by  accident.      Dunlap,  the  second   of 
Bond,  said  it  was  Jones'  fire  and  Bond  might  fire  at  Jones;  but 
Bond,  with  that  greatness  of  soul  that  appeared  in  all  his  actions, 
public  and  private,  cried  out,  "  it  was  an  accident." 

The  parties  settled  the  controversy  on  the  ground  on  honor- 

.able  terms;    but  a  bitter  quarrel   ensued   between  Jones  and 

Dunlap  on  the  subject.     This  controversy  waxed  warmer  and 

more  malignant,  until  at  last  Dunlap  shot  Jones  in  the  public 

•streets  of  Kaskaskia.     Jones  was  standing  in  the  street,  leaning 

•  on  the  railing  of  the  gallery  and  talking  to  a  lady,  when  Dunlap 

came  up  behind  him  and  shot  him  dead  with  a  pistol. 

This  horrid  murder  of  such  a  talented  and  promising  young 
man  shocked  the  community  and  to  some  extent  quieted  the 
_party  feuds  for  a  time. 



This  murder  occurred  in  1809.  Dunlap  escaped  to  Texas 
and  was  never  punished  by  the  temporal  courts. 

Thus  ended,  in  his  twenty-eighth  year,  a  young  man  of  ex- 
ceedingly great  promise.  Judging  from  the  character  he  acquired 
at  school,  and  what  was  known  of  him  at  Kaskaskia,  it  is  not 
improbable  that  his  superior  was  not  in  the  country  before  or 
after  his  death. 

The  whole  community  mourned  for  the  death  of  this  fine 
young  man — cut  off  in  his  prime  by  an  assassin.  It  was  indeed 
shocking  to  the  public. 

In  early  times  the  inhabitants  of  Illinois  were  in  a  small 
degree  tinctured  with  the  absurdity  and  nonsense  of  witchcraft 
and  fortune- telling;  but  in  after-days  this  ignorant  superstition 
has  entirely  disappeared. 

The  French  at  no  time  were  troubled  with  the  apparitions, 
ghosts,  or  spirits.  Haunted  houses  were  out  of  fashion  with 
them.  It  is  true,  they  had  an  imaginary  being  they  called  le 
lotip  garreau — the  growling  wolf.  This  was  hatched  up  more 
to  scare  children  than  the  grown  folks.  Yet  the  ancient  French 
in  Illinois  believed  that  the  negroes  in  the  West-India  Islands 
possessed  a  supernatural  power  to  do  injury  to  any  one  that 
had  incurred  their  displeasure,  and  had  power,  also,  to  look  into 
futurity.  This  power,  the  old  French  ladies  believed,  came  from 
Africa  and  was  retained  with  the  African  negroes.  It  may  be 
said  that  this  belief  of  fortune-telling  was  mostly  femate,  as  the 
intelligent  among  them,  as  they  do  now,  laugh  at  the  nonsense. 

The  French  in  Cahokia  dreaded  to  incur  the  displeasure  of 
certain  old  colored  people,  as  they  could  do  them  injury,  even 
to  death,  by  these  African  incantations.  The  great  empress  of 
France,  Josephine,  had  her  fortune  told  her  in  the  West  Indies, 
which  to  some  extent  influenced  her  conduct  thro  life.  The 
old  sibyl  in  Martinique  said  to  Josephine:  "You  will  be  queen 
of  France."  With  all  the  good  sense  of  that  celebrated  woman, 
she  rather  believed  the  prophecy,  yet  laughed  at  it.  It  was  the 
belief  of  some  people  and  families  that  an  old  woman  living  on 
Silver  Creek,  111.,  had  the  power  of  witchcraft  to  take  the  milk 
from  her  neighbors'  cows  without  seeing  or  touching  them.  AH 
this  ignorance  and  nonsense  have  disappeared  from  the  minds 
of  the  people  by  a  proper  education.  School -houses  always 



destroy  witchcraft.  The  people,  in  proportion  to  their  ignor- 
ance, will  be  troubled  with  this  superstition. 

The  Creator  gave  no  power  to  the  demons  of  darkness  to 
change  the  laws  of  nature  at  their  diabolical  pleasure,  and  to 
vex  and  harass  mankind  at  their  will. 

I  think  it  is  blasphemy  to  believe  that  witches  are  the  vicege- 
rents of  God  to  change  his  laws  at  their  pleasure. 

In  Cahokia,  about  1790,  this  superstition  got  the  upper  hand 
of  reason,  and  several  poor  African  slaves  were  immolated  at 
the  shrine  of  ignorance  for  this  imaginary  offence.  An  African 
negro,  called  Moreau,*  was  hung  for  this  crime  on  a  tree  not  far 
southeast  of  Cahokia.  ^  It  is  stated  that  he  had  said,  "  he  poi- 
soned his  master,  but  his  mistress  was  too  strong  for  his  necro- 
mancy." Another  slave,  Emanuel,  was  shot  in  Cahokia  for  this 
crime,  and  an  old  woman,  Janette,  was  supposed  to  have  the 
power  to  destroy  persons  and  property  by  her  incantations. 
Many  grown  people  and  all  the  children  were  terrified  at  her 

All  countries  have  had  their  witches,  and  I  hope  Illinois  will 
never  again  return  to  such  scenes  of  bloodshed,  to  appease  the 
demon  of  ignorance. 

In  May,  1791,  John  Dempsey  was  attacked  by  the  Indians, 
but  escaped.  It  will  be  recollected  that  this  same  Dempsey 
was,  a  few  years  before,  scalped  by  the  Indians  and  left  for 
dead.  This  pioneer  was  determined  to  stand  his  ground  in 
Illinois,  dead  or  alive.  Eight  men,  Capt.  N.  Hull,  command- 
ing, James  Lemen,  Sr.,  Joseph  Ogle,  Sr.,  Benjamin  Ogle,  J. 
Ryan,  William  Bryson,  John  Porter,  and  Daniel  Raper  pursued 
this  party  of  Indians,  who  were  double  the  number  of  whites. 
The  hottest  of  the  battle  was  fought  in  the  timber  northwest 
of  the  camp-meeting  ground,  at  the  Big  Spring,  in  Monroe  Co., 
and  not  far  east  of  the  road  from  Waterloo  to  Whiteside's  Sta- 
tion. This  was  a  running  fight  from  tree  to  tree,  the  Indians 
fleeing  and  the  whites  pursuing.  This  bloody  conflict  was  kept 

*  In  "Fergus'  Historical  Series.  No.  12,  By  Edward  G.  Mason,"  may  be  found 
"Col.  John  Todd's  record  book,"  and  on  page  58  is  the  order  for  the  execution 
of  'Negro  Manuel,  a  slave,"  and  on  page  59  is  the  order  for  the  detail  of  a  party 
of  militia  to  "guard  Moreau,  a  slave  condemned  to  execution,  up  to  the  town  of 
Kokos,"  daied  "June  15,  1779". — J.  H.  G. 


up  until  dark  separated  the  combatants.  Five  Indians  were 
killed  and  not  a  white  man's  blood  was  shed. 

These  trials  and  dangers  in  the  first  settlement  of  the  country 
made  the  pioneers  an  iron  race  of  men,  and  they  were  like  the 
army  of  Oliver  Cromwell  —  they  cared  very  little  about  the 
numbers  of  the  enemy  opposed  to  them.  This  was  verified  in 
the  case  of  Capt.  Hull  and  seven  men  running  sixteen  Indians 
and  killing  five  of  them. 

Several  emigrants  had  stopped  at  Kaskaskia  and  Jacob  Judy 
.among  the  rest.  He  sold  out  his  property  at  Kaskaskia  and 
located  himself  and  family  on  the  site  where  at  present  stands 
the  old  water-mill  known  at  this  day  as  Judy's  mill.  This  mill 
•is  a  small  distance  west  of  Whiteside's  Station,  in  Monroe  Co. 
It  was  erected  in  1794,  and  was  at  the  time  the  first  water-mill 
in  that  section  of  the  country.  It  was  of  great  service  to  the 
infant  settlement,  as  many  of  the  pioneers  can  testify  at  this  day. 

A  few  years  after,  other  water-mills  and  some  band-mills  of 
.two  or  four  horse-power,  as  the  parties  were  provided  with  these 
animals,  were  also  erected  in  the  same  neighborhood.  George 
Valentine  built  a  water-mill  on  a  stream  nearly  west  of  Judy's 

These  mills  relieved  the  people,  when  the  water  was  high  and 
plenty,  from  the  use  of  graters,  hand-mills,  and  mortars  to  manu- 
facture corn-meal. 

In  early  times,  these  various  expedients  were  resorted  to  by 
the  people  to  manufacture  corn-meal.  The  band-mill  was  so 
called  because  a  raw-hide  band  twisted  was  put  on  the  large 
wheel  in  the  place  of  cogs.  It  saved  the  gearing  of  the  mill. 
They  are  the  lowest  and  cheapest  order  of  horse-mills.  Pins 
are  put  in  the  arms  of  the  large  wheel  and  around  them  the 
band  is  placed.  These  pins  may  be  changed  into  holes  made 
for  the  purpose,  so  the  band  may  be  made  tighter  when  neces- 

The  next  is  the  hand-mill.  The  stones  are  smaller  than  those 
of  the  horse-mill  and  propelled  by  man  or  woman  power.  A 
hole  is  made  in  the  upper  stone  and  a  staff  of  wood  is  put  in  it, 
and  the  other  end  of  the  staff  is  put  thro  a  hole  in  a  plank 
above,  so  that  the  whole  is  free  to  act.  One  or  two  persons 
take  hold  of  this. staff  and  turn  the  upper  stone  with  as  much 


velocity  as  possible.  An  eye  is  made  in  the  upper  stone,  thro 
which  the  corn  is  put  into  the  mill  with  the  hand  in  small  quan- 
tities to  suit  the  mill,  instead  of  a  hopper.  This  is  a  hand-mill. 
A  mortar  wherein  corn  is  beat  into  meal  is  made  out  of  a  large 
round  log,  three  or  four  feet  long.  One  end  is  cut  or  burnt  out, 
so  as  to  hold  a  peck  of  corn,  more  or  less,  according  to  circum- 
stances. This  mortar  is  set  one  end  on  the  ground  and  the 
other  up,  to  hold  the  corn.  A  sweep  is  prepared  over  the  mor- 
tar, so  that  the  spring  of  the  pole  raises  the  piston  and  the  hands 
at  it  force  it  so  hard  down  on  the  corn  that  after  much  beating, 
meal  is  manufactured. 

The  last  and  lowest  order  of  inventions  to  manufacture  meal 
is  a  grater.  A  plate  of  tin  is  pierced  with  many  holes,  so  that 
one  side  is  made  very  rough.  The  tin  is  made  oval  and  then 
nailed  to  a  board.  An  ear  of  corn  rubbed  hard  on  this  grater, 
whereby  the  meal  is  forced  thro  the  holes  and  falls  down  into  a 
vessel  prepared  to  receive  it. 

These  are  the  contrivances  which  the  pioneers,  in  early  times, 
were  forced  to  adopt.  In  the  fall  of  the  year,  the  water-mills 
generally  were  idle,  for  the  want  of  water,  and  the  people  were 
compelled  to  resort  to  these  shifts  for  meal. 

In  my  youth,  I  had  a  very  intimate  and  personal  acquaintance 
with  all  these  modes  of  manufacturing  corn-meal,  and  was  as 
happy  then  as  at  any  time  of  my  life,  under  different  circum- 

The  Irishman,  Halfpenny,  the  school-master  general,  likewise 
erected  a  water-mill  on  the  Fountaine  Creek,  not  far  west  of 
the  present  town  of  Waterloo.  This  mill  was  built  about  1795. 
In  1798,  Josiah  Ryan  built  a  water-mill  on  the  stream  below 
the  mill  of  the  late  Gen.  James,  in  Monroe  County.  These  two 
last-named  mills  and  all  traces  of  them  have  disappeared  from 
their  respective  localities.  It  may  be  that  in  the  course  of  time 
the  finest  steam-mills  that  now  ornament  and  benefit  the  coun- 
try so  much  at  this  day,  and  even  the  populous  cities  them- 
selves, may  cease  to  exist,  and  the  remains  of  them  present  as 
melancholy  a  spectacle  to  other  ages  as  the  ruins  of  Palmyra 
and  Balbec  do  to  us  at  this  day.  Man  and  his  works  are  all 
transient  and  evanescent.  The  very  continent  of  North  America 
Itself  mav  again  be  submerged  by  the  ocean,  as  it  once  was, 


and  thereby  the  most  promising  part  of  the  globe,  with  all  its 
population  and  free  institutions,  may  disappear  and  a  dreary 
waste  of  water  again  occupy  its  place. 

There  is  nothing  permanent  but  the  great  Supreme  Being 
and  His  eternal  laws  which  govern  the  universe. 

After  the  close  of  the  Indian  wars,  the  French  and  Ameri- 
cans associated  themselves  together  more  and  adopted  each 
others  customs  and  habits  to  some  extent. 

The  Americans  became  enamored  with  the  French  custom 
of  charivari,  and  practised  it  sometimes  right,  but  more  often 
wrong,  according  to  the  rules  established  by  .the  French. 

The  old  French  charivari  was  innocent.  It  was,  in  their 
hands,  a  merry  rural  serenade,  sustained  by  all  sorts  of  loud 
and  discordant  noises.  The  charivari  party  was  composed  of 
old  and  young,  and  generally  conducted  by  some  orderly  and 
aged  man.  They  enlisted  into  their  service  all  sorts  of  things 
that  could  by  any  means  be  forced  to  make  a  noise.  They 
used  bells,  horns,  drums,  pans,  tin  kettles,  whistles,  and  all  such 
articles  as  would  make  loud,  harsh  sounds.  This  French  organ- 
ized charivari  was  such  a  merry,  noisy  uproar  that  it  would 
make  a  monk  laugh  if  he  heard  it. 

The  proper  French  custom  was  that  if  persons  married  of 
the  same  condition,  there  was  no  charivari;  but  when  discord- 
ant materials  were  tied  together  with  that  delicious  silken  cordf 
which  is  so  dazzling  to  the  female  eye,  then  a  similar  discordant 
noise  attended  the  celebration.  For  example,  when  neither  of 
the  parties  ever  before  tasted  the  delicacies  of  matrimony,  there 
was  no  ground  for  a  serenade;  but  when  a  widower,  who  had 
before  worshiped  at  the  shrine  of  Venus,  married  a  lady  who 
was  never  before  bound  in  wedlock,  then,  in  such  cases,  the 
charivari  was  invoked  with  all  its  merriment.  And  the  same 
with  a  widow  who  had  before  feasted  on  the  sweet  viands  of 
love  and  married  a  man  whose  lot  had  heretofore  been  celibacy, 
in  such  cases  the  charivari  was  in  order. 

Generally  among  the  French  the  married  parties  were  as  will- 
ing as  the  others  for  the  sport,  and  were  prepared  to  extend 
some  civilities  to  the  good-humored  crowd.  Thus  frequently 
the  case  ended  in  the  best  of  feeling.  But  when  the  married 
folks  were  refractory,  the  charivari  was  kept  up  for  a  succession 


of  nights,  until  they  yielded  to  the  custom.  As  the  farce  pro- 
ceeded, if  the  married  parties  were  sour,  the  serenading  crowd 
had  the  privilege  to  hint,  in  a  wild  manner,  first  at  the  character 
of  the  bride  and  then  at  that  of  the  bridegroom.  These  hints 
generally  closed  the  scene  in  good  humor.  When  the  noise 
was  made  in  the  crowd,  some  one  would  cry  out  at  the  top  of 
his  voice,  "charivari!  charivari!"  and  some  other  in  the  party 
would  sing  out,  "pour  qui?" — "  for  whom?"  The  answer  to  this 
question  gave  rise  to  hint  at  the  female  and  her  character.  At 
times,  the  bridegroom  also  was  charged  with  things  he  would 
not  like. 

This  was  the  dernier  resort.  When  this  or  other  means  pro- 
duced some  kindness  or  civility,  then  the  whole  farce  ended  in 
the  best  of  feelings  among  the  French.  But  with  the  Ameri- 
cans this  charivari  is  sometimes  attended  with  disagreeable  con- 
sequences. And,  in  fact,  the  serenading  party  is  sometimes  in- 
dicted for  a  breach  of  the  peace. 

In  all  countries  the  administration  of  the  laws  is  extremely 
important  to  the  people.  No  matter  how  free  a  people  may  be, 
if  the  laws  are  not  properly  executed,  that  people  can  not  pros- 
per and  be  happy. 

To  make  a  people  prosperous  and  happy,  the  laws  must  be 
not  only  equitable  and  just,  but  executed  in  the  same  manner, 
with  equity  and  justice. 

In  1790,  Governor  St.  Clair  organized  the  government  of  the 
Northwest  Territory,  and  also  the  judiciary  of  St.  Clair  County. 
He  appointed  justices  of  the  peace  throughout  the  county;  but 
their  jurisdiction  was  limited  to  twenty  dollars  in  civil  matters, 
and  in  criminal  cases  they  had  no  power  whatever,  except  to 
act  as  an  examining  court.  The  opinion  of  the  people  in  olden 
times  was  opposed  to  giving  justices  much  jurisdiction  in  civil 
and  none  in  criminal  matters.  The  rule  of  ancient  times  is 
relaxing,  with  experience,  and  at  this  day,  the  justices'  courts 
are  the  most  important  tribunals  in  the  country.  A  jury  before 
a  justice  of  the  peace,  in  former  times,  was  never  known. 

Gov.  St.  Clair  also  appointed  judges  of  the  court  of  common- 
pleas,  or  quarter-sessions  as  they  were  sometimes  called.  They 
held  these  offices  at  the  discretion  of  the  governor ;  but  he 
scarcely  ever  exercised  his  power  in  dismissing  any  from  office. 


The  practice  of  dismissing  men  from  office  was  not  much  exer- 
cised in  early  times,  and  it  is  a  discretion  that  requires  a  sound 
judgment  and  a  just  sense  of  propriety  to  exercise  it  to  the 
public  interest.  The  old  saying  of  Jefferson  is  known  to  all: 
"  Is  he  capable  ?  Is  he  honest  ?  "  It  may  be  proper  to  change 
the  policy  of  the  republic  on  account  of  the  great  changes  in 
the  quantity  and  quality  of  the  population  in  these  days. 

These  county-courts  held  sessions  to  do  business  every  three 
months,  which  gave  them  the  name  of  quarter-sessions.  The 
governor  and  judges  of  the  Northwest  Territory  adopted  the 
common- law  of  Great  Britain  and  the  British  statutes  in  aid 
thereof,  to  the  fourth  year  of  the  reign  of  James  I.  of  Great 

These  laws  provided  for  the  trial  by  jury  and  recognized  all 
such  other  appendages  as  are  found  in  the  common-law,  appli- 
cable to  our  government.  The  ordinance  of  1787  introduced 
the  common -law  into  the  territory  and  many  other  salutary 
regulations.  The  habeas  corpus  was  secured  to  the  people  and 
such  other  fundamental  principles  as  are  generally  provided  in 
the  various  state  constitutions. 

St.  Clair  County  was  parcelled  off  into  three  judicial  districts. 
and  the  courts  held  their  sessions  in  each  district;  one  at  Kas- 
kaskia,  one  at  Prairie  du  Rocher,  and  one  at  Cahokia.  The 
judges,  sheriff,  and  clerk  had  jurisdiction  throughout  the  county, 
but  the  citizens  could  not  be  sued  out  of  their  districts. 

I  saw  a  case  in  the  ancient  records  of  Kaskaskia  district, 
where  a  citizen  entered  his  plea  of  abatement,  in  1790,  to  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  court,  because  he  was  [not]  sued  in  the  district 
of  Prairie  du  Rocher,  where  he  resided.  This  plea  was  made  by 
John  Rice  Jones,  his  attorney,  and  prayed  a  nonsuit  from  the 
court  at  Kaskaskia. 

The  writs  are  dated  at  these  villages:  Kaskaskia,  Prairie  du 
Rocher,  and  Cahokia,  and  run  within  the  respective  districts. 

In  1790,  John  Edgar  of  Kaskaskia,  Jean  Baptiste  Barbeau  of 
Prairie  du  Rocher,  and  John  de  Moulin  of  Cahokia  were  the 
chief-justices  of  their  respective  districts,  and  in  whose  names 
the  judicial  processes  of  their  districts  were  issued. 

William  St.  Clair  and  William  Biggs  were  the  clerk  and  the 
sheriff,  whose  authority  extended  throughout  the  county  of 
St.  Clair. 


Grand-juries  were  organized  in  each  district  and  returned  in- 

I  saw  a  record  proceeding  at  Prairie  du  Rocher  against  a 
colored  man  for  the  murder  of  a  hog.  At  that  day  no  prose- 
cuting attorney  attended  the  court,  and  I  presume  the  grand- 
jury  found  the  form  of  an  indictment  in  some  book,  for  murder, 
and  applied  it  to  the  negro  and  the  hog.  It  was  malicious  mis- 
chief in  destroying  the  hog,  which  I  presume  was  the  offence 
the  grand-jury  was  investigating.  The  same  equitable  justice 
may  have  been  done  under  the  indictment  for  murder,  as  if  it 
were  one  for  malicious  mischief  and  prosecuted  by  the  ablest 
attorneys  in  the  country. 

In  those  days  John  Rice  Jones  was  the  only  attorney  practis- 
ing in  these  courts,  and  the  next,  in  1794,  was  the  celebrated 
Isaac  Darnielle  of  Cahokia. 

Ejectment  suits  were  common,  at  that  day,  for  particular  and 
valuable  tracts  of  land.  I  can  not  perceive  that  there  was  any 
mode  pointed  out  for  an  appeal  from  these  courts,  and  in  no 
case  was  it  practised,  so  far  as  I  can  discover.  The  United- 
States  judges  of  the  Northwest  Territory  held  their  sessions 
at  the  seat  of  government  at  Cincinnati  or  Chillicothe,  which 
was  so  remote  from  Illinois  that  an  appeal  to  this  court  was 
much  more  impracticable  than  an  appeal  at  this  day  is  to  Wash- 
ington City.  The  people,  at  that  day,  required  not  much  from 
the  courts  and  nothing  from  appeals. 

Toward  the  close  of  the  Indian  war,  the  country  south  of  the 
New  Design  commenced  its  settlement.  Johnson  J.  Whiteside 
and  others  laid  off  a  town,  not  on  paper,  but  on  a  site  situated 
on  the  west  bank  of  the  Kaskaskia  River,  not  far  south  of  the 
northern  limits  of  the  present  county  of  Randolph,  and  called 
it  Washington.  This  town  was  commenced  in  1795,  and  occu- 
pied a  beautiful  situation  on  the  high  bluff  of  the  river,  over- 
looking, to  the  west,  much  of  the  Horse  Prairie.  The  inhabi- 
tants enclosed  and  cultivated  large  fields  of  grain  and  raised 
stock  to  a  considerable  amount.  The  houses  in  this  town  were 
log-cabins;  but  streets  and  other  town  notions  were  observed  in 
the  building  of  the  place. 

In  the  early  settlement  of  this  town,  the  Going  families  were 
conspicuous.  The  Goings,  the  old  and  young  William,  emigrated 


from  Kentucky  in  1794,  and  erected  a  station  a  short  distance 
southwest  of  the  Bellefontaine.  In  this  fort,  John  Pulliam 
located  himself  and  family  in  1796.  Some  other  families  like- 
wise were  tenants  of  this  station  this  year. 

Both  father  and  son  were  blacksmiths,  and  the  younger  was 
a  man  of  considerable  talents.  The  old  gentleman  was  a  plain 
man,  except  when  he  became  excited  with  tafia.  Then  he  was 
a  rough  customer.  At  courts  and  other  gatherings  he  had  bells 
to  sell,  and  he  often  put  a  cord  thro  the  staples  of  the  bells, 
perhaps  a  dozen,  more  or  less,  of  all  sizes,  and  then  tied  the 
cord  around  his  waist.  To  make  the  scene  more  imposing,  he 
dressed  himself  with  a  fox-skin  cap,  with  the  tail  suspended 
behind,  and  other  dress  of  the  same  outlandish  character.  Thus 
equipped,  he  danced  in  the  crowd,  so  that  his  noise  would  drown 
thunder.  He  was  not  large,  but  very  active  and  strong.  In 
early  times,  Judge  Symmes,  one  of  the  United-States  judges  of 
the  Northwest  Territory,  held  court  at  Cahokia  and  Going 
tormented  the  judge  with  his  bell-dance.  Many  other  such 
wild  freaks,  Going  and  others  of  his  day  indulged  in.  The  old 
man  died  in  Washington,  on  the  Kaskaskia  River,  and  is  buried, 
with  many  more,  in  the  old  graveyard,  north  of  the  town. 

William  Going,  the  son,  was  of  a  different  order  of  men.  His 
mind  and  person  were  both  formed  on  a  large  and  substantial 
scale.  He  received  a  very  limited  education  and  could  barely 
read  and  write.  But  nature  did  much  for  him,  tho  he  did  little 
for  himself.  With  his  natural  gifts,  he  might  have  been  among 
the  first  men  in  any  country.  As  it  was,  he  was  leader,  in  his 
manner.  He  possessed  a  Strong  natural  mind  and  a  bold  energy 
that  was  on  some  occasions  exerted  in  a  manner  of  which  the 
community  did  not  approve.  His  courage  and  daring  bravery 
were  always  equal  or  superior  to  the  emergency.  These 
traits  of  Going's  character  no  one  ever  doubted.  His  person 
was  large  and  modeled  on  the  stern  and  rather  defiable  order. 
He  was  neither  repulsive  or  very  prepossessing  in  his  appear- 
ance; but  all  who  saw  him,  at  once  came  to  the  same  conclusion 
that  he  was  a  decided,  firm,  and  great  man  in  his  sphere.  His 
decision  among  his  comrades  was  the  law  and  the  gospel  to 
them.  No  one  of  his  friends  ever  murmured  at,  or  attempted 
an  appeal  from,  his  judgment.  He  was  the  great  governing 


spirit  in  his  circle  at  the  races,  shooting-matches,  and  card- 
tables.  His  impulses  were  naturally  on  the  side  of  honesty 
and  integrity,  but  bad  associations  and  habits  gradually  grew 
on  him,  which  forced  the  public  to  think  strange  of  his  conduct. 
He  was  ardent  and  sincere  in  his  friendships.  He  had  a  high 
sense  of  honor  in  his  peculiar  notions  of  that  virtue.  He  would 
suffer  martyrdom  before  he  would  desert  or  abandon  a  comrade 
in  his  distress,  and  would  risk  his  life  for  a  tried  friend.  The 
wealth  of  a  nation  might  be  committed  to  his  care,  and  it  would 
be  safe,  if  he  pledged  his  honor  in  the  case  and  confidence  were 
placed  in  him.  If  he  had  lived  in  the  days  of  the  crusades  to 
the  Holy  Land,  he  would  have  been  a  leader  of  magnitude. 
Talents,  courage,  energy,  and  chivalric  notions  of  honor  would 
have  placed  William  Going  the  leader  of  many  of  the  bold  and 
daring  attacks  on  Jerusalem.  If  Going  had  been  with  General 
Wayne  in  his  army,  he  would  have  been,  in  all  probability,  one 
of  Wayne's  men  in  storming  Stony  Point.  But  as  it  was,  his 
life  was  wasted  away  in  an  obscure  corner,  where  his  talents  and 
energies  had  not  the  proper  theatre  in  which  to  act. 

He  was  a  blacksmith  and  gunsmith,  but  like  many  others 
raised  at  that  day  in  Illinois,  he  had  no  ambition  for  hard  labor. 
He  worked  in  his  shop  for  "his  pleasure  and  cared  but  little  for 
wealth,  save  a  support  for  himself  and  family.  He  possessed 
a  talent  for  repairing  guns  and  shooting  them,  having  steady 
nerves  and  excellent  eyesight.  With  these  qualities  and  much 
practise  with  fine  rifles,  he  shot  with  great  exactness.  An  eye- 
witness, who  is  now  alive,  informed  me  that  he  saw  Going,  in 
1807,  at  his  residence  on  the  Kaskaskia  River,  a  short  distance 
below  the  present  town  of  Fayette,  shoot  a  rifle,  with  a  rest, 
ninety  yards,  and  put  four  balls  into  the  same  hole,  near  the 
•centre  of  the  target.  The  fifth  bullet  touched  the  same  hole. 
This  is  a  precision  in  shooting  that  is  rarely  reached.  It  will 
be  remembered  that  a  great  portion  of  the  time  of  the  people 
at  that  day  was  occupied  with  the  gun,  either  in  defending 
themselves  from  Indian  attacks  or  in  procuring  a  living  for 
their  families. 

Altho  Going  was  possessed  of  a  strong  mind  and  great  firm- 
ness, yet  he  was  not  invulnerable  against  the  attacks  of  beauty. 
Love  made  him  sever  the  ties  of  a  former  marriage,  and  he 


became  the  victim  of  a  new  flame.  This  second  marriage  de 
facto  remained  during  life  and  the  parties  lived  in  peace  and 
harmony.  He  died  in  Arkansas  in  1830. 

John  Pulliam  was  also,  in  early  times,  a  resident  of  this  town. 
By  common  consent,  this  place  changed  its  name  from  Wash- 
ington to  that  of  Horse -Prairie  Town.  Under  this  name  it 
lingered  and  died. 

In  1/96,  John  Pulliam  emigrated  from  Kentucky  to  New 
Design,  in  Illinois.  He  was  a  native  of  Botetourt  County,  Vir- 
ginia, and  emigrated  to  Kentucky  just  after  the  war  of  the 
Revolution.  He  moved  to  the  west  of  St.  Louis  in  1797,  and 
remained  some  years  at  the  Flourisant  and  Owen's  Station. 
He  returned  to  Illinois  in  1799,  and  settled  in  the  Horse-Prairie 
Town.  He  cultivated  the  field  near  the  town  for  a  few  years 
and  then  made  a  farm,  in  1802,  on  the  Prairie-du-Long  Creek, 
near  the  mouth  of  Richland  Creek,  in  the  present  county  of 
Monroe.  He  sold  his  place  and  made  another  plantation  on 
the  Kaskaskia  River,  on  which  he  lived  and  died.  His  last 
residence  was  near  the  present  town  of  Fayette,  where  he 
settled  in  1808,  and  died  in  1813. 

Mr.  Pulliam  was  a  man  of  good  mind  and  more  energy  and 
activity  than  ordinary.  He  had  a  large  family,  whose  descend- 
ants and  connections  were  very  numerous  in  Illinois.  Not 
many  pioneer  families  in  Illinois,  of  whom  I  am  acquainted,, 
are  so  numerous  in  their  lineal  descendants  and  the  connections 
and  ramifications  as  the  Pulliam  family,  all  descending  from 
John  Pulliam,  the  aged  patriarch  of  the  family. 

John  Grosvenor  resided  in  this  town  in  1799,  and  for  some 
years.  He  was  a  native  of  Connecticut  and  was  a  stone-masoa 
and  farmer.  He  cultivated  a  large  farm  adjacent  to  the  town 
and  sold  much  produce.  He  was  an  honest,  correct  man,  moral 
in  all  things,  except,  perhaps,  in  his  young  days  he  permitted 
the  Godess  of  Love  to  furnish  him  with  a  traveling  companion,, 
from  Connecticut  to  Illinois,  at  whose  departure  some  one,  at 
least,  in  Connecticut  felt  sorry. 

As  the  country  in  the  Horse  Prairie  improved,  this  town 
declined,  until  the  village  ceased  to  exist  and  the  country 

Another  town  was  staked  off  at  the  Bellefontaine,  but  obsti- 


nately  refused  to  grow.  French  as  well  as  Americans  settled 
in  this  village.  It  had  a  shorter  life  and  a  more  humble  one. 
than  the  Horse-Prairie  Town. 

In  1793,  Illinois  received  a  colony  of  the  most  numerous,, 
daring,  and  enterprising  inhabitants  that  had  heretofore  settled 
in  it.  The  Whitesides  and  their  extensive  connections  emi- 
grated from  Kentucky  and  settled  in  and  around  the  New 
Design  in  this  year.  Not  only  the  numerous  names  of  White- 
side  was  in  this  colony,  but  also  were  their  connections:  Griffin, 
Gibbons,  Enochs,  Chance,  Musick,  Going,  and  others.  This 
large  connection  of  citizens,  being  all  patriotic,  courageous,  and 
determined  to  defend  the  country  at  the  risk  of  their  lives,  was 
a  great  acquisition  to  Illinois,  which  was  hailed  by  all  as  the 
harbinger  of  better  times. 

The  Whitesides  and  their  early  connections  were  born  and' 
raised  on  the  frontiers  of  North  Carolina,  and  emigrated  to- 
Kentucky.  They  had  been  inured  to  Indian  hostilities  and 
other  hardships  incident  to  frontier  life,  from  their  early  years 
to  manhood.  The  patriarch  and  leader,  William  Whiteside,. 
had  been  a  brave  soldier  in  the  Revolutionary  war  and  was  in 
the  celebrated  battle  of  King's  Mountain.  To  be  a  soldier  in 
the  battle  of  King's  Mountain  is  an  honor  of  itself.  His 
brother,  John  Whiteside,  was  also  in  the  war  for  independence, 
and  acted  well  his  part  in  that  struggle.  The  Whiteside  family 
were  of  Irish  descent  and  inherited  much  of  the  Irish  character. 
They  were  warm-hearted,  impulsive,  and  patriotic.  Their  friends 
were  always  right  and  their  foes  always  wrong  in  their  estima- 
tion. They  were  capable  of  entertaining  strong  and  firm  attach- 
ments and  friendships.  If  a  Whiteside  took  you  by  the  hand, 
you  had  his  heart.  He  would  shed  his  blood  freely  for  his 
country  or  for  his  friend. 

William  Whiteside  erected  a  fort  on  the  road  from  Cahokia 
to  Kaskaskia,  which  became  celebrated  as  Whiteside's  Station. 
At  this  station,  Whiteside  raised  a  large  and  efficient  family  of 

John  Whiteside,  his  brother,  resided  at  the  Bellefontaine  for 
many  years,  and  died  there.  He  also  had  a  large  family,  whose 
descendants  are  very  numerous  and  settled  in  many  parts  of 
the  West. 


William  Whiteside,  soon  after  he  arrived  in  Illinois,  became 
conspicuous  and  efficient  as  a  leader  in  the  Indian  war.  He 
was  the  captain  of  many  parties  that  took  signal  vengeance  on 
the  savage  foe  for  murders  they  committed  on  the  women  and 
children,  as  well  as  on  the  grown  men.  One  trait  of  character 
—  bravery  —  the  Whiteside  family  possessed  in  an  eminent 
degree,  and  the  patriarch  of  whom  I  am  speaking  was  as  cool, 
firm,  and  decided  a  man  as  ever  lived.  Scarcely  any  of  the 
family  ever  knew  what  fear  was. 

William  Whiteside  was  the  captain  of  a  party  of  eight  men, 
who  pursued  a  large  number  of  Indians  and  overtook  them  on 
Shoal  Creek. 

In  1793,  the  Kickapoo  Indians  stole  a  number  of  horses  from 
the  American  Bottom,  not  far  distant  from  the  present  residence 
of  Mr.  Miles,  and  fled  toward  their  towns  at  the  sources  of  the 
Sangamon  River.  Many  of  the  citizens  assembled  to  pursue 
the  Indians,  but  only  eight  came  to  the  sticking  point,  Wil- 
liam Whiteside,  captain,  Samuel  Judy,  John  Whiteside,  Samuel 
Whiteside,  William  Harrington,  Wm.  L.  Whiteside,  John  Porter, 
and  John  Dempsey.  They  pursued  the  Indian  trail  near  the 
^present  City  of  Belleville,  toward  the  Indian  camp  on  Shoal 

It  was  a  hazardous  and  dangerous  march,  eight  men  in  pur- 
suit of  a  large  body  of  Indians,  and  going  into  a  country  where 
hundreds  of  the  enemy  could  be  called  forth  in  a  few  hours. 
Scarcely  eight  men  in  any  country  could  be  selected,  with  the 
-same  talents  and  efficiency,  to  succeed  in  such  a  perilous  attempt 
on  the  enemy,  as  those  composing  this  almost  forlorn  hope. 

These  pioneers  had  no  time  to  prepare  for  the  march,  or  the 
Indians  would  escape.  They  had  scarcely  anything  with  them 
to  eat.  Their  guns,  ammunition,  and  bravery  were  almost  all 
they  had  along.  One  other  essential  ingredient  they  had  in  an 
eminent  degree,  great  talents,  caution,  and  experience  in  the 
captain  and  also  many  of  his  party.  They  followed  the  trail, 
day  and  night,  with  great  rapidity.  One  of  the  party  was 
generally  out  before  on  the  trail  as  a  spy,  to  prevent  the  whites 
from  rushing  into  an  ambuscade.  Better  to  lose  one  man  than 
all  the  party. 

They  came  up  with  the  Indians  on  Shoal  Creek  and  found 


three  of  the  horses  grazing  in  the  prairie.  They  secured  these 
horses  and  then  made  arrangements  to  attack  the  Indian  camp. 
Uy  order  of  the  captain,  altho  the  party  was  small,  yet  it  was 
divided  into  two  parties,  and  each  to  attack  the  camp  at  the 
same  time,  from  the  opposite  sides.  The  captain's  gun  to  fire 
was  the  signal  to  commence  the  battle.  One  Indian,  the  son 
of  the  chief,  old  Pecon,  was  killed,  one  mortally  wounded,  and 
others  slightly. 

The  Indians,  altho  many  more  than  the  whites,  ran  off  and 
left  their  guns  and  everything  but  themselves.  •  The  old  chief 
surrendered  and  gave  up  his  gun  to  Whiteside.  The  chief, 
judging  from  the  bold  and  energetic  attack,  supposed  the 
whites  to  be  nu:nerous  behind.  But  when  he  discovered  the 
whole  were  only  eight  men,  he  cried  with  a  terrific  voice  to  his 
braves  to  return  and  fight  the  Americans,  and  at  the  same  time 
•seized  his  gun  in  Whiteside's  hands  and  attempted  to  wrench 
it  from  him.  Whiteside  was  an  extraordinary  stout  man  and 
never  at  a  loss  in  any  personal  scramble  that  resembled  a  fight. 
Whiteside's  men  were  afraid  to  shoot  the  Indian,  as  they  might 
kill  their  captain;  but  he  was  in  no  danger  from  the  Indian. 
Whiteside  retained  the  gun  in  triumph  and  the  Indian,  altho  a 
brave  man,  was  forced  to  acknowledge  the  superiority  of  the 
white  man.  Whiteside  would  not  injure  or  let  his  men  kill  an 
unarmed  foe,  altho  the  Indian  broke  the  truce.  The  Indian 
escaped  to  his  warriors  unhurt,  much  to  the  honor  of  Whiteside. 
These  were  the  days  of  chivalry  in  Illinois. 

Whiteside,  who  was  famous  for  his  prudence  as  well  as  his 
courage,  said  it  was  unwise  to  remain  in  the  Indian  country  a 
moment  longer.  They  started  back  with  the  horses  they  caught 
and  neither  eat  or  slept  until  they  reached  Whiteside's  Station. 
And  the  very  night  they  arrived  at  the  station,  Pecon  and 
seventy  warriors  camped  in  the  vicinity  of  Cahokia,  in  pursuit 
of  Whiteside  and  his  party. 

The  wisdom  of  Whiteside  was  verified  in  this  case.  Suppose 
the  whites  had  loitered  at  the  Indian  camp  on  Shoal  Creek  a 
few  hours,  these  seventy  savages  would  have  destroyed  a  part 
•or  all  of  Whiteside's  party  before  they  reached  the  settlement. 

Savage  malignity  and  revenge  was  not  appeased  by  the  noble 
and  generous  act  of  Capt.  Whiteside  in  saving  the  life  of  the 


old  chief,  Pecon;  but  in  revenge  for  the  loss  of  his  son,  the  old 
warrior  and  his  braves  shot,  near  the  station,  a  young  man, 
Thomas  Whiteside,  and  tomahawked  the  boy  of  the  captain 
while  he  was  out  at  play,  so  that  he  died.  These  murders 
occurred  the  next  year,  1794,  after  the  son  of  Pecon  was  killed. 
There  is  no  passion  in  the  breast  of  a  savage  so  strong  as  that 
of  revenge. 

In  1795,  a  Frenchman  in  Cahokia  informed  Capt.  Whiteside 
that  a  camp  of  Indians  of  considerable  number  was  established 
at  the  bluff,  a  short  distance  south  of  the  present  macadamized 
road  from  Belleville  to  St.  Louis,  and  that  they  meditated  some 
injury  to  him — to  kill  him,  or  steal  horses,  etc.  This  informa- 
tion aroused  the  blood  of  the  old  warrior,  Whiteside,  and  he 
called  on  his  tried  band  of  heroes.  His  passion  was  not  cooled 
down  for  the  loss  of  his  people,  and,  moreover,  he  was  acting  in 
self-defence.  His  small  company,  Samuel  and  William  L.  White- 
side,  Samuel  Judy,  Isaac  Enochs,  Johnson  J.  Whiteside,  and 
others,  to  the  number  of  fourteen,  were  assembled,  and  just 
before  day,  the  camp  was  surrounded  and  all  the  Indians  killed 
except  one.  He  escaped,  not  to  live,  but  to  die,  as  the  other 
Indians  killed  him  for  his  cowardly  running  off.  The  Indians 
numbered  more  than  the  whites,  but  were  surprised  and  killed. 
This  is  Indian  war.  The  bones  of  these  Indians  were  seen  at 
this  battle-field  for  years  after. 

In  this  battle,  Capt.  Whiteside  was  wounded,  he  supposed^ 
mortally.  He  fell  to  the  ground,  and  in  this  condition,  he  ex- 
horted his  men  to  fight  bravely;  never  to  give  an  inch  of  ground 
and  never  permit  the  enemy  to  touch  his  body  when  he  was 
dead,  supposing  he  would  die  in  a  short  time.  His  son,  Uel, 
was  also  wounded  in  the  arm  and  could  not  use  his  gun.  He 
examined  his  father's  wound  and  discovered  that  the  ball  had 
not  passed  thro  the  body,  but  struck  a  rib  and  glanced  off  to- 
ward the  spine.  On  further  examination,  he  found  that  the 
bullet  had  lodged  near  the  skin,  and  with  his  butcher-knife  he 
cut  it  out,  saying,  "  father,  you  are  not  dead  yet."  The  old  man 
jumped  to  his  feet,  remarking,  "  boys,  I  can  still  fight  the  Ind- 
ians." Such  desperate  feats  of  courage  and  military  enthusiasm 
rarely  occur  in  any  age  or  in  any  country. 

As  Capt.  Whiteside  and  party  were  returning  to  Whiteside's 


Station,  they  halted  at  Cahokia  to  dress  the  wounds  of  the  cap- 
tain and  his  son.  A  widow  lady,  an  American,  had  two  beauti- 
ful and  intelligent  daughters,  and  as  few  Americans  resided  in 
the  village,  the  wounded  men  stopped  at  this  lady's  house  a 
.few  minutes  to  dress  their  wounds.  William  B.  Whiteside*  was 
'with  the  party  to  this  lady's  residence.  He  was  quite  young 
-and  very  handsome.  This  accidental  meeting  made  these 
young  people  acquainted  with  each  other  and  at  last  the  two 
brothers  married  the  two  sisters,  Misses  Rains,  and  each  party 
raised  large  families.  It  is  singular  that  such  small  circum- 
stances may  decide  the  destiny  of  a  person  during  life. 

The  father  and  son  both  recovered  of  their  wounds  and  lived 
-a  long  time  after.  The  name  of  Whiteside  was  a  terror  to  the 

The  old  warrior,  William  Whiteside,  rested  in  peace  from 
Indian  wars  for  many  years,  as  this  battle  was  the  last,  until 
1811,  when  the  Indians  again  commenced  depredations.  He 
was  elected  colonel  of  St.  Clair  County  and  held  that  office  for 
many  years.  He  never  cared  much  about  the  parade  of  mili- 
tary office.  He  admired  more  "  the  hair-breadth  'scape  in  the 
imminent  deadly  breach." 

Col.  Whiteside,  after  the  peace  with  the  Indians,  turned  his 
attention  to  his  farm  at  the  station,  and  improved  it.  He  cul- 

*  I  am  inclined  to  think  the  Governor  was  indebted  to  his  imagination  for  this 
piece  of  romance.  Wm.  B.  Whiteside,  called  Bolin,  was  one  of  the  sons,  and  Uel 
the  other.  I  knew  Bolin  intimately,  and  the  family  of  Uel.  I  also  knew  Mrs. 
Bolin  Whiteside,  whose  maiden  name,  according  to  my  recollection,  was  Arendell. 
In  a  sketch  of  the  Whiteside  family  that  I  furnished  Hon.  E.  B.  Washburne,  to  be 
used  in  an  address  delivered  by  him  before  the  Agricultural  Society  of  Whiteside 
County,  in  1877,  I  fell  into  the  error  of  taking  the  Governor's  account  of  this  double 
marriage  without  due  reflection.  Afterward,  on  meeting  with  Michael  Whiteside, 
since  deceased,  who  lived  in  this  county,  he  said  he  did  not  believe  the  story,  and 
referred  to  circumstances  that  satisfied  me  that  it  was  not  true,  and  upon  reflection  1 
am  constrained  to  believe  either  that  the  Governor  culled  this  ornamental  story  from 
his  imagination  or  some  one  injected  it  into  the  story.  The  Governor  was  in  the 
habit  of  having  fine  passages  written  by  his  friends.  Col.  Nathaniel  Niles  of  Belleville 
has  been  suspected  of  writing  a  very  fine  passage,  touching  the  return  of  Reynolds  to 
the. hearthstone  of  his  early  life  and  the  scenes  of  his  childhood  in  Tennessee.  If 
this  passage  in  regard  to  the  double  marriage  is  a  canard  or  was  an  interpolation,  the 
Governor  should  be  held  responsible,  for  he  knew  the  history  of  the  Whitesides,  as 
his  brother  Robert  married  a  daughter  of  Wm.  B.  or  Bolin  Whiteside.  This  I  know. 
— JOSEPH  GILLESPIE,  Jan.  25,  1883. 


tivated  a  fine  apple-orchard,  which,  in  days  gone  by,  was  quite 
celebrated,  as  very  few  orchards  were  in  the  country. 

He  and  his  brother,  John  Whiteside,  in  1806,  purchased  a 
land-warrant  of  one  hundred  acres  and  located  it  on  a  mill-seat 
on  Wood  River,  where  the  main  road  crosses  the  creek  from 
Edwardsville  to  Alton.  They  prepared  and  hauled  much  tim- 
ber to  the  premises  for  the  mill,  but  never  built  it. 

Col.  Whiteside  was  a  justice-of-the-peace  and  judge  of  the 
court  of  common-pleas.  These  offices  he  executed  to  please 
the  people,  not  himself,  as  the  military  was  his  fort  and  pleasure. 

In  the  war  of  1812,  Col.  Whiteside  was  active  and  efficient  in 
organizing  the  militia  of  St.  Clair  County  and  preparing  them 
for  active  service.  He  himself  was  in  the  service  and  attended 
at  Camp  Russell  in  carrying  out  the  military  operations  in  the 
defence  of  the  frontiers.  He  died  at  his  residence,  the  old 
Station,  in  1815.  He  was  universally  known  throughout  the 
country,  and  his  death  cast  a  gloom  over  the  community. 

He  had  been  a  regular  member  of  the  Baptist  church  for 
many  years  previous  to  his  'death.  He  was  an  exemplary  and) 
moral  man  and  possessed  a  strong,  uncultivated  mind.  His 
education  was  limited,  but  his  life,  being  one  of  extraordinary 
events,  made  him  intelligent.  Reflection  and  study  were  forced 
on  him  in  self-defence.  His  frontier  life,  with  the  Indian  war 
and  all  its  dangers  and  perils  impending  over  him  for  many 
years,  developed  his  mind  and  made  him  a  grave,  reflecting 
man.  His  person  was  stout  and  active.  He,  as  it  was  with 
most  of  the  name,  was  a  stranger  to  fear.  He  was  calm  and 
meditative  in  times  of  peril.  He  never  permitted  any  rash 
impulses  to  influence  him  in  battle.  His  remains  now  rest  at 
his  old  Station, -in  peace  and  quiet,  from  the  din  and  uproar  of 
the  battle-field,  where  his  energies  and  commanding  talents 
have,  on  many  occasions,  won  the  victory  for  the  stars  and 
stripes.  He  was  the  leader  and  pioneer  of  the  Whiteside 
family  and  connections  in  Illinois.  They  are  exceedingly 
numerous,  extending  throughout  the  country.  They  may  look 
back  at  him  with  esteem  and  respect  as  the  pioneer,  Moses, 
that  conducted  them  thro  the  wilderness  to  Illinois,  the 
"promised  land." 

Joseph  Kinney  came  to  the  New  Design  in  1793,  and  raised 


a  crop  preparatory  to  the  emigration  of  his  family  to  Illinois. 
He  resided  at  the  time  on  Bear-Grass  Creek,  seven  miles  from 
Louisville,  Kentucky,  and  the  next  year  he  moved  his  family 
to  the  New  Design.  He  had  seven  sons  and  four  daughters, 
and  raised  them  all  to  years  of  maturity  before  any  one  of 
them  died.  This  family  was  a  great  acquisition  to  a  new  coun- 
try. They  descended  the  Ohio  from  Louisville  to  Fort  Mas- 
sac,  and  then  crossed  the  country  from  Massac  to  Kaskaskia. 
In  this  early  time  there  was  scarcely  any  road  for  a  wagon, 
or  even  for  pack-horses,  from  Massac  to  Kaskaskia;  but  .the 
energetic  pioneers  overcome  all  obstacles  and  performed  the 
tour.  It  was  said  that  William  Kinney,  the  son  of  Joseph 
Kinney,  and  afterward  lieutenant-governor  of  the  State  of  Illi- 
nois, drove  the  first  wagon  on  this  road  from  Massac*  to  Kas- 

Not  only  had  this  family  great  difficulty  in  moving  to  the 
country,  but  they  also  experienced  many  more  disasters  and 
dangers  in  this  new  country.  .One  of,  the  greatest  misfortunes 
that  the  family  had  to  suffer  was  the  want  of  schools  to  educate 
the  children.  The  younger  portion  of  the  family  were  almost 
entirely  deprived  of  this  blessing.  Nature  had  gifted  this 
family  with  strong  minds  and  great  energy,  but  they  had  no 
opportunity  of  improving  their  minds  in  their  younger  days. 

The  youngest  daughter  of  Joseph  Kinney,  when  she  was 
married  to  Rev.  Joseph  Lemen,  in  1809,  possessed  no  book- 
education,  whatever;  but  her  husband,  much  to  his  credit,  sent 
her  to  school,  and  she  learned,  after  she  was  married,  to  read 
and  write.  She  is  now  an  intelligent  lady  and  the  mother  of  a 
large  and  respectable  family. 

*  The  French  commander  who  evacuated  Fort  Duquesne  in  October,  1758,  on  the 
approach  of  Gen.  Forbes,  descended  the  Ohio  River,  and  Monette  says :  "  Made  a 
halt  about  forty  miles  from  the  mouth,  and,  on  a  beautiful  eminence  on  the  north 
bank  of  the  river,  commenced  a  fort,  and  left  a  detachment  of  one  hundred  men, 
as  a  garrison.  The  post  was  called  'Fort  Massac',  in  honor  of  the  commander, 
M.  Massac,  who  superintended  its  construction.  This  was  the  last  fort  erected 
by  the  French  on  the  Ohio,  and  it  was  occupied  by  a  garrison  of  French  troops 
until  the  evacuation  of  the  country,  under  the  stipulations  of  the  treaty  of  Paris. 
Such  was  the  origin  of  Fort  Massac,  divested  of  the  romance  which  fable  has 
thrown  around  its  name." — "History  of  the  Valley  of  the  Mississippi."  Vol.  I,  p. 
3I7--J.  H.  G. 


Toward  the  close  of  the  Indian  war,  Joseph  Kinney  settled 
on  Rock-House  Creek,  a  few  miles  east  of  the  New  Design, 
and  erected  a  mill  on  this  creek.  He  also  made  a  farm  on  the 
premises.  This  creek  being  small,  and  in  the  fall  deficient  of 
water  to  propel  the  mill,  he  built  a  horse-mill.  These  mills 
were  a  relief  to  the  neighborhood  and  were  hailed,  with  the 
others  built  about  the  same  time,  as  a  great  blessing  to  the 

Before  these  mills  were  constructed,  the  people  were  forced 
to  resort  to  expedients  or  to  go  to  the  horse-mills  at  Prairie  du 
Rocher  or  Cahokia  to  procure  their  grinding.  Trips  to  the 
.mills  at  these  villages  were  dangerous,  on  account  of  the 
Indians,  and  also  a  considerable  distance  to  travel. 

Joseph  Kinney  possessed  a  good  sound  mind  and  much 
enterprise.  He  left  the  old  settlements  and  located  in  a  new 
country,  for  the  benefit  and  advantage  of  his  large  family. 
Scarcely  any  emigrant  that  ever  settled  in  Illinois  was  blessed 
with  such  a  numerous  family  as  the  patriarch,  Joseph  Kinney, 
was.  He  lived  at  the  Rock-House  Creek,  in  the  even  tenor  of 
his  way,  for  many  years,  and  died  there  in  1803.  He  was  a 
strong,  athletic  man,  and  enjoyed,  as  he  deserved,  an  excellent 
character.  He  was  moral  and  correct  in  all  his  actions,  and  his 
death  was  much  lamented  by  his  friends  and  the  community 

Mr.  Dement  married  one  of  his  daughters  in  Kentucky,  in 
1792,  and  moved  to  Illinois.  He  located  himself  and  family  a 
few  miles  southeast  of  the  New  Design,  and  made  a  fine  farm 
on  his  premises.  He  was  a  pious,  orderly  man.  One  Sunday 
morning  he  was  preparing  to  go  to  meeting  and  went  to  bridle 
his  horse.  The  horse  kicked  him  so  that  he  died  of  the  injury. 
His  death  occurred  in  1811. 

Andrew  Kinney,  one  of  the  sons  of  Joseph  Kinney,  built  a 
water-mill  on  a  spring  branch,  southwest  of  the  New  Design. 
This  mill  occupied  the  same  site  where  the  late  Gen.  James 
owned  and  rebuilt  the  Kinney  mill.  This  mill,  while  in  the 
hands  of  Andrew  Kinney,  was  one  of  the  first  in  this  section 
of  country  that  manufactured  flour  for  the  St.  Louis  market. 
Before  the  war  of  1812,  this  mill  manufactured  flour  for  the 
foreign  markets. 


In  building  this  mill,  Kinney  was  much  injured  by  a  large 
piece  of  timber  falling  on  his  breast,  which  caused  him  to  be 
confined  to  his  house  for  years.  He  became  melancholy  or 
depressed  of  mind.  The  public  considered  him  laboring  under 
the  hypochondria.  Either  by  dreams  or  otherwise,  he  decided 
in  his  own  mind  that  he  would  die  at  such  a  time — naming  the 
day.  For  months  before  the  time,  he  still  adhered  to.  his  notion, 
and  so  stated  it  to  his  friends  and  family.  On  the  day  he  was 
to  die,  a  large  concourse  of  people  assembled  at  his  residence 
to  see  what  they  would  see.  Kinney  went  to  bed  and  lay  out 
as  if  he  were  to  die.  He  supposed  he  would  die.  The  crowd 
gazed  on  the  scene,  but  he  did  not  die.  He  lived  for  many 
years  after.  During  this  time  of  his  melancholy,  he  either  could 
not,  or  supposed  he  could  not,  ride  on  horseback.  He  was  con- 
veyed about  in  a  sled,  and  hunted  and  killed  deers  while  riding 
in  his  sled,  with  his  son  driving  him.  He  became  a  candidate 
for  the  office  of  member  of  the  State  convention,  in  1818,  and 
either  the  exercise  or  the  excitement  cured  him.  He  then  rode 
on  horseback  and  became  a  scund  man  in  mind  and  body.  He 
died  a  few  years  since,  in  Missouri,  at  a  respectable  old  age. 
Mr.  Kinney  was  an  upright,  honest  man,  and  always  deported 
himself  with  great  propriety  and  morality. 

Robert  McMahon  was  an  emigrant  from  Kentucky  and  set- 
tled in  the  New  Design  in  1794.  He  was  venturesome  and 
risked  himself  and  family  on  a  new  place  in  1795.  He  located 
himself  a  few  miles  southeast  of  the  New  Design,  in  the  prairie 
now  known  as  the  Yankee  Prairie.  Four  Indians  attacked  his 
house  in  daylight  and  killed  his  wife  and  four  children  before 
his  eyes.  They  laid  the  dead  bodies  in  a  row  on  the  floor  of 
the  cabin,  and  took  him  and  two  of  his  small  daughters  pris- 
oners. A  child  in  the  cradle  was  found  unhurt  by  the  Indians, 
but  dead.  The  cradle  was  upset,  but  the  people  supposed  the 
infant  died  of  hunger.  What  a  shocking  sight  this  must  have 
been  to  McMahon — to  see  his  family  butchered  and  himself 
and  two  daughters  in  captivity !  He  presumed  the  Indians 
were  taking  him  to  their  villages  to  burn  him  to  atone  for  some 
loss  of  their  warriors  killed  in  the  battles  with  the  whites.  This 
murder  was  committed  in  December,  1795,  and  the  weather  was 
excessively  cold.  The  party  were  on  foot  and  the  frozen  ground 


was  severe  on  the  feet  of  the  daughters  of  McMahon;  but  this 
was  nothing  to  compare  with  burning  at  the  stake.  The  Ind- 
ians were  in  a  great  hurry  to  get  off,  for  fear  the  whites  would 
follow  them.  They  took  from  the  house  whatever  light  articles 
they  could  pack  on  their  backs,  and  started.  Before  they  left 
the  house,  they  tied  one  of  McMahon's  arms  behind  his  body 
and  left  the  other  loose,  to  hold  on  his  pack.  They  packed  on 
him  a  full  load  of  his  own  goods  and  steered  their  course  north- 
east, with  a  quick  and  determined  step. 

These  Indians  were  brave  and  determined  warriors  and  used 
no  more  rigor  with  McMahon  than  was  necessary  to  secure  him. 
After  the  rage  of  the  murder  of  the  family  subsided,  the  Indians 
were  kind  and  friendly  to  the  little  girls.  They  cheered  them 
up,  by  signs,  and  attended  to  their  wants.  They  fixed  their 
shoes  and  made  them  as  comfortable  as  the  nature  of  the  case 
would  permit.  • 

They  marched  a  straight  course,  crossing  Prairie -du- Long 
Creek  not  far  from  the  mouth  of  the  creek  whereon  Gen. 
Moore  had  a  mill  afterward,  and  they  camped  the  first  night 
on  Richland  Creek,  about  one-half  mile  below  the  present  City 
of  Belleville. 

McMahon  was  secured  with  tug-ropes  and  tied  down  on  his 
back,  so  he  could  not  turn  or  stir.  His  shoes  and  most  of  his 
clothes  were  taken  from  him  and  put  under  the  Indians,  to  pre- 
vent him  from  getting  them  if  he  attempted  to  escape.  They 
also  put  on  him  a  belt,  finely  wrought  with  porcupine  quills  and 
small  bells,  so  that  if  he  stirred,  the  bells  would  rattle  and  give 
them  alarm.  The  Indians  themselves  were  almost  starving, 
and,  of  course,  McMahon  and  girls  had  very  little  to  eat.  A 
small  pittance  of  dried  meat  was  all  their  food. 

What  a  contrast  is  often  seen  in  the  human  family!  What  a 
striking  difference  between  the  condition  of  these  captive  girls 
and  the  well-dressed  and  lively  little  girls  of  this  city!  The 
little  captives  camped  all  night  on  the  creek,  below  Belleville, 
with  four  savage  warriors,  who  had,  the  day  before,  killed  their 
mother  and  four  sisters  or  brothers,  and  had  their  father  in 
bondage — perhaps  to  burn  him.  They  were  also  oppressed 
with  the  travel  and  all  day  without  victuals  or  rest.  They  had 
scarcely  a  stitch  of  clothes  to  preserve  them  from  freezing  dur- 


ing  the  night.  What  a  contrast  with  the  gay  and  cheerful  little 
girls  of  Belleville  at  this  time!  One  party  enjoying  all  the 
comforts  of  life,  with  kind  parents  to  administer  to  their  wants, 
while  the  other  had  no  mother,  and  a  father,  probably  to  be 
burnt,  and  they  themselves  in  the  hands  of  the  murderers  of 
their  mother  and  family,  to  be,  perhaps,  also  murdered. 

An  Indian  war  is  horrible,  because  of  its  barbarity  on  the 
defenceless  part  of  community. 

The  party  pursued  their  course  across  Silver  Creek,  above 
the  present  town  of  Lebanon,  on  to  the  sources  of  Sugar  Creek, 
and  there  camped  the  second  night.  It  snowed  this  night. 
McMahon  meditated  his  escape,  but  of  it  did  not  inform  his 
girls.  He  supposed  they  would  cry  and  try  to  prevent  it,  and 
it  would  do  them  no  good  to  see  him  burnt,  and  so  did  not  tell 
them.  The  Indians  tied  and  secured  him  as  they  did  the  pre- 
ceding night.  But  in  the  night,  when  all  were  sound  asleep,  he 
slipped  off  the  cords  from  his  arms  and  body.  He  covered  his 
clothes,  what  little  he  had  on,  over  the  belt  of  bells,  so  they 
made  no  noise,  and  was  about  rising  quietly  to  escape,  when 
one  of  the  large  Indians,  just  as  he  had  the  cords  loose  and 
preparing  to  rise,  raised  his  head  up  and  looked  around,  but. 
laid  it  down  again  without  noticing  him. 

This  was  a  perilous  time  for  McMahon  and  children,  as,  prob- 
ably, if  he  had  been  detected  in  his  attempts  to  escape,  they 
would  have  killed  both  him  and  his  children. 

When    the    Indian    laid    down   his   head    and    again   slept,. 
McMahon    escaped,  without   his   shoes,  hat,   or   much    of    his- 
clothes.      He  was  almost  naked  and  barefooted  on  the  snow- 
He  slipped  back  to  the  camp  and  tried  to  get  his  shoes  or  the 
Indians'  moccasons,  but  could  get  neither.     He  thought  either 
way  was  nearly  death — to  stay  with  the  Indians  or  leave  them 
in  the  wilderness,  without  shoes,  clothes,  or  anything  to  eat 
He  sLarted  in  the  night  toward  the  New  Design,  as  well  as  he 
could  discover  his  course.     He  slept  out  one  night  besides  the 
night  he  left,  and  came  near  freezing.     He  lay  beside  a  log  and 
gathered  up  some  dry  leaves  with  which  to  cover  himself.     He 
thought  this  world  lost  to  him,  as  he  must  freeze  that  night. 
His  feet  and  elbows  froze  to  some  extent ;  his  elbows  being 
exposed,  as  his  clothes  had  holes  in  them.     He  steered,  as  well 


as  he  could,  toward  the  southwest,  but  missed  the  New-Design 
settlement,  and  found  himself  at  Prairie  du  Rocher,  the  first 
place  he  saw  a  white  man. 

He  was  in  a  horrid  and  deplorable  condition  when  he  reached 
the  settlement.  He  was  without  shoes,  hat,  or  much  clothes, 
almost  exhausted  with  hunger,  having  eaten  very  little  for  four 
days,  together  with  his  feet  and  arms  frozen.  His  clothes,  what 
little  he  had  on,  were  torn  and  tattered,  and  his  skin  and  flesh 
injured  and  wounded  in  many  places. 

His  family  lay  dead  some  days  before  the  neighbors  knew  of 
the  murder,  and  therefore  they  were  not  immediately  buried. 

A  small  Spitz  dog,  who  had  been  much  admired  and  petted 
by  McMahon's  family,  came  frequently  to  the  settlement  of  the 
New  Design,  and  would  run  back  and  forward  toward  the  resi- 
dence of  McMahon ;  but  no  one  perceived  the  object  of  the 
dog,  which  was  made  manifest  after  the  murder  was  discovered. 
The  poor  dog  wanted  to  give  the  information,  but  could  not. 

Old  Mr.  Judy  was  the  first  that  discovered  the  dead  bodies, 
and  reported  it  to  the  settlement.  He  had  seen  such  a  horrid 
sight  that  he  shed  tears  when  he  told  the  sad  story  of  the 

The  citizens  went  out  and  buried  the  dead  and  had  a  religious 
meeting  called  on  that  same  evening,  at  the  fort  of  James  Lemen, 
Sr.,  as  a  kind  of  funeral  devotion  for  the  deceased  family. 

Just  as  the  meeting  closed,  at  nine  or  ten  o'clock  in  the  even- 
ing, McMahon  entered  the  house  from  Prairie  du  Rocher.  All 
parties  were  surprised  and  much  affected  at  the  scene.  McMahon 
sat  at  the  fire  and  his  little  dog  was  also  there,  but  did  not  know 
his  master  at  first,  as  he  was  so  changed;  but  the  moment  he 
looked  into  his  master's  face,  he  leaped  into  his  lap  with  exceed- 
ingly great  joy.  This  little  incident  produced  a  sensation  in 
the  assembly  that  was  very  affecting  and  sorrowful.  McMahon 
could  not  restrain  his  feelings  and  burst  out  into  loud  lamenta- 
tions for  the  murder  of  his  family. 

After  McMahon  became  calm  from,  the  first  gush  of  sorrow, 
and  his  friends  informed  him  that  they  had  buried  all  his  family 
in  one  grave,  he,  with  a  pious  ejaculation,  exclaimed:  "  They 
were  lovely  and  pleasant  in  their  lives,  and  in  their  death  they 
were  not  separated." 


His  daughters  were  ransomed  and  one  of  them  married  a 
Mr.  Gaskill  of  Madison  County,  and  has  raised  a  large  family. 
McMahon  himself,  in  a  few  years  after  the  murder  of  his  family, 
married  again  and  made  a  fine  plantation  on  a  beautiful  emi- 
nence in  the  Horse  Prairie.  He  was  appointed  a  justice-of-the- 
peace  and  judge  of  the  court  of  Randolph  County,  and  exe- 
cuted the  duties  of  these  offices  with  punctuality  and  honesty. 
He  possesed  a  good  standing  in  community.  He  moved  from 
Randolph  County  to  St.  Clair,  and  resided  on  a  plantation  a 
mile  or  two  northeast  of  Lebanon.  At  last  he  settled  in  Madi- 
son County,  southwest  of  Troy,  and  died  there  after  living  a 
long  and  eventful  life. 

The  Indians,  in  very  early  times,  cared  but  little  about  the 
Americans  emigrating  to  the  country.  They  supposed  they 
would  occupy  but  a  small  portion  of  the  territory,  which  would 
not  do  the  Indians  any  injury.  The  Indian  wars  raged  in  Ken- 
tucky and  Tennessee  before  much  trouble  was  experienced  in 
Illinois  from  them. 

This  was  a  great  inducement  to  the  Ogles,  Moores,  and 
Lemens,  and  many  other  early  settlers,  to  emigrate  to  the 
country.  But  the  Indians  saw  that  a  great  number  of  Ameri- 
cans were  locating  themselves  in  the  country  and  organizing  a 

In  1790,  the  red -skins  commenced  the  defence  of  their  coun- 
try, by  attempting  to  prevent  the  whites  from  settling  in  it.  In 
the  whole  West,  the  Indian  war,  in  1790,  and  for  several  years 
after,  was  carried  on  with  rancor  and  bitterness  not  experienced 
before.  The  federal  government  commenced  hostilities  on  a 
large  scale  against  the  Indians  located  in  the  northern  section 
of  the  present  State  of  Ohio.  It  was  thought  advisable  to 
carry  the  war  into  Africa,  and  the  northern  nations  of  Indians 
must  be  subdued  before  a  permanent  peace  could  be  established. 

With  this  view,  the  government  ordered  Gen.  Harmar  to 
march  against  the  Indians  in  the  Northwest.  He  organized  an 
army  of  one  thousand  four  hundred  and  fifty  men,  three  hun- 
dred and  twenty  of  whom  were  federal  troops  and  the  balance 
Kentucky  and  Pennsylvania  militia.  This  army  left  Fort  Wash- 
ington, which  is  now  occupied  by  the  City  of  Cincinnati,  Sept. 
30,  1790,  and  marched  toward  the  Indian  towns  on  the  Maumee- 


He  separated  his  army  into  several  divisions  and  made  many 
charges  on  small  parties  of  Indians  and  on  deserted  villages; 
but  on  the  whole,  he  did  not  sustain  the  honor  of  the  stars  and 

On  October  19  and  22,  he  was  partially  defeated.  The  public 
and  the  Indians  considered  Harmar  as  having  failed  in  his  cam- 
paign ;  but  the  general  himself,  at  least,  at  the  time  did  not 
think  so.  The  Indian  account  of  the  battles  is  that  Harmar 
lost  five  hundred  men,  killed,  and  the  rest  retreated,  while  the 
Indians  only  lost  fifteen  or  twenty  warriors.  The  Shawnees, 
Pottawatomies,  and  Miamis  were  the  Indians  engaged  in  these 
battles  against  the  American  army.  The  government  believed 
that  the  campaign  of  Gen.  Harmar  was  a  failure,  and  in  conse- 
quence, made  arrangements  for  a  more  powerful  prosecution  of 
the  war  against  the  Indians. 

An  act  of  congress  for  the  protection  of  the  frontiers  passed 
March  '3,  1791,  and  Gov.  St.  Clair  was,  on  the  4th  of  the  same 
month,  appointed  to  the  command  of  the  Northwestern  army. 
Messengers  of  peace  were  sent  to  the  Indians,  but  the  British 
agents  prevented  them  from  accepting  the  terms  offered  by  the 
United  States. 

Before  St.  Clair  could  get  ready,  Gen.  Charles  Scott  of  Ken- 
tucky was  ordered  on  a  campaign,  in  May,  1791,  against  the 
Wabash  Indians.  He  destroyed  all  the  towns  at  and  near  Oui- 
tenon,  or  Weastowns,  and  returned.  Gen.  Wilkinson  was  also 
engaged  against  the  Wabash  Indians,  and  both  expeditions  were 

Gen.  St.  Clair  and  Gen.  Butler,  who  was  second  in  command 


made  the  utmost  exertions  to  raise  and  organize  an  army  to 
retrieve  the  honor  of  the  country,  which  in  the  other  campaign 
did  r.o:  shine  out  with  the  accustomed  brilliancy.  The  army 
under  St.  Clair  amounted  to  two  thousand  three  hundred  strong, 
and  left  Ludlow's  Station,  near  Cincinnati,  on  September  17, 
1791,  for  the  Indian  country  toward  Detroit. 

Gen.  St.  Clair  halted  at  the  Miami  and  built  a  fort,  called 
Fort  Hamilton.  Then  the  army  proceeded  forty-four  mile; 
and  erected  Fort  Jefferson.  This  fort  was  commenced  Oct.  12, 
and  finished  on  the  24th.  When  the  troops  commenced  the 
march,  the  army  did  not  proceed  more  than  seven  miles  per 


day,  and  at  many  times  sixty  or  more  of  the  militia  deserted  at 
a  time. 

Twenty-nine  miles  from  Fort  Jefferson,  the  army  camped  on 
a  small  stream  twelve  yards  wide,  which  was  a  branch  of 
the  Wabash  River.  The  regiment  of  Col.  Hamtramck,  and  the 
colonel  himself,  were  sent  back  for  deserters  and  other  troops; 
so  that  on  November  3,  he  had  only  fourteen  hundred  men 
under  his  command  at  the  disastrous  battle.  Half-an-hour 
before  sunrise,  the  Indians,  on  the  4th,  surprised  the  army  and 
defeated  it,  killing  and  wounding  eight  or  nine  hundred  men. 
In  Braddock's  defeat  of  one  thousand  two  hundred  men,  he  lost 
seven  hundred  and  fourteen,  in  killed  and  wounded.  Brad- 
dock  had  eighty-six  officers,  of  whom  sixty-three  were  slain  or 
wounded.  In  St.  Clair's  army  there  were  between  eighty-six 
and  ninety  officers,  and  sixteen  were  killed  and  wounded. 

The  causes  of  the  defeat  of  St.  Clair  and  army  have  been 
much  canvassed  and  discussed  before  military  committees  of 
the  army  and  of  congress.  The  defeat  has  been  placed  on  the 
grounds  of  lateness  of  the  season,  want  of  discipline  in  the 
.army,  and  a  disagreement  between  the  generals,  St.  Clair  and 
Butler.  All  these  minor  causes  go  to  show  a  want  of  such 
great  military  talents  in  the  general  that  he  must  possess  to 
enable  him  to  succeed. 

St.  Clair  was  honest  and  upright,  and  possessed  ordinary, 
good  talents  as  a  general,  but  his  health  was  bad.  He  could 
not  get  on  or  off  a  horse  without  help,  and  old  age  was  advanc- 
ing on  him;  so  he  was  not  the  energetic  and  talented  man  that 
he  was  in  the  Revolution.  He  was  surprised  by  the  Indians; 
his  troops  were  not  trained  or  disciplined;  it  was  late  in  the 
year  (and  not  very  late  either — November  4),  and  Col.  Ham- 
tramck was  absent  with  his  regiment.  All  these  were  causes  a 
man  of  talents  would  have  guarded  against.  He  could  not  stop 
at  the  time,  but  he  could  have  been  out  sooner,  or  not  at  all, 
that  season.  If  he  had  fortified  his  position  and  waited  for  the 
return  of  Col.  Hamtramck,  the  loss  of  eight  or  nine  hundred 
,men  might  have  been  avoided,  and  what  was  also  desirable,  the 
honor  of  himself  and  army.  To  be  surprised  by  Indians  is  an 
.argument  against  the  sagacity  of  a  general. 

jQen.  St.  Clair,  after  this  battle,  retired  from   the  army  and 


demanded  an  enquiry  into  his  conduct,  which  was  granted  him. 
He  was  .acquitted  by  the  committees,  but  the  public  and  the 
Indians  did  not  discharge  him  from  blame. 

The  next  year,  Gen.  Wayne  was  appointed  to  take  command 
of  the  army  to  conquer  a  peace  over  the  Indians  in  the  North- 
west. The  government  disliked  to  shed  blood  and  to  expend 
the  treasure  of  the  country,  and  therefore  they  resorted  to  nego- 
tiation for  two  long  years. 

-  It  seems  unreasonable  that  the  government  would  try  peace 
measures  with  the  Indians  when  the  British  agents  and  officers 
were  urging  them  up  to  fight  the  Americans  and  they  having 
already  whipped  two  American  armies.  All  the  peace-talks 
ever  presented  to  the  red  men  could  not  have  kept  them  in 
peace  under  these  circumstances. 

Gen.  Wayne  said  he  had  with  him  about  four  thousand  mes- 
sengers of  peace  to  make  a  treaty  with  the  Indians  at  the 
muzzle  of  the  cannon.  It  must  be  written  for  the  Indian's  with 
powder  and  lead.  No  other  treaties  had  ever  any  good  effect 
with  savages  and  scarcely  with  any  other  nation. 

All  this  time,  two  years,  the  government  were  coaxing  the 
Indians  into  peace,  Wayne  was  preparing  his  army  for  active 
service,  and  on  August  19,  1794,  he  arrived  in  the  vicinity  of 
the  enemy.  He  here  erected  a  strong  fort,  called  Fort  Deposit. 
In  it  he  put  all  his  heavy  baggage,  etc.,  and  on  August  20,  gave 
battle  to  the  Indians,  nearly  under  the  guns  of  the  British  gar- 
rison. He  entirely  defeated  them,  and  the  next  year,  on  Aug_ 
3,  1795,  a  general  peace  was  made  with  the  Indians  at  Green- 
ville. This  peace  relieved  the  people  of  Illinois,  as  well  as- 
throughout  the  western  frontiers,  from  Indian  hostilities. 

After  this  memorable  epoch,  immigration  set  into  Illinois  and 
the  settlements  commenced  to  extend  themselves  from  the  New 
Design  and  the  forts  in  the  American  Bottom,  into  other  sec- 
tions of  the  country. 

About  1799  and  1800,  a  settlement  commenced  in  the  Horse 
Prairie.  Samuel  and  Winder  Kinney,  Chance  Ratcliff,  Gibbons, 
McMahon,  and  some  others  settled  in  the  upper  end  of  Horse 
Prairie.  At  the  time  they  settled  there,  the  country  was  almost 
entirely  prairie  and  barrens,  with  a  few  scattering  large  trees. 
Now  it  is  covered  with  young  growing  timber,  except  the  fields 


that  are  cultivated.     So  soon  as  the  fire  is  kept  out  of  the  prai- 
ries they  soon  grow  up  with  timber. 

It  is  a  fact  that  is  known  to  all  the  pioneers,  that  there  is,  at 
this  day,  much  more  timber  in  all  these  old  counties  than  was 
in  them  fifty  years  ago.  The  timber  grows  faster  than  it  is 
used,  since  the  first  settlement  of  the  country. 

Teter  and  others  afterward  also  settled  in  the  Horse  Prairie; 
but  the  settlement  almost  entirely  broke  up  before  1810,  and 
nearly  all  the  inhabitants  left.  Levens  and  some  others  re- 

The  Horse  Prairie  lies  west  of  the  Kaskaskia  River  and  east 
of  Horse  Creek,  and  both  the  creek  and  prairie  obtained  the 
name  by  herds  of  wild  horses  running,  in  early  times,  in  and 
around  this  prairie.  These  horses  escaped  from  the  French  vil- 
lages and  lived  in  the  prairie. 

About  1796,  the  Ogles,  Biggs,  and  some  others  formed  a  set- 
tlement in  the  Bottom  and  on  the  hills  near  the  Bottom,  where 
the  road  from  the  Bellefontaine  to  Cahokia  descends  the  bluff. 
The  Ogles  made  a  large  farm  in  the  Bottom. 

George  Lunceford  and  Samuel  Judy  purchased  the  sugar-loaf 
tract  of  land  and  made  a  farm  on  it.  Judy  sold  out  to  Lunce- 
ford and  went,  in  1800,  to  his  residence  in  the  present  county  of 
Madison,  where  he  died.  The  sugar-loaf  was  rather  remarkable 
in  the  first  settlement  of  the  country.  A  small  mound  rises  on 
the  top  of  the  rocky  bluff,  which  is  supposed  to  resemble  a 
sugar-loaf,  that  gives  the  name  to  this  place.  It  is  five  or  six 
miles  south  of  Cahokia. 

The  American  Bottom  received  many  immigrants  about  this- 
time.  Many  from  the  New  Design  moved  to  the  Bottom. 
Edward  and  Thomas  Todd,  the  Badgleys,  and  others  left  the 
New  Design  and  settled  in  the  Bottom. 

James  Gilham,  Sr.,  emigrated  from  Kentucky  to  Illinois  in 
1797,  and  settled  in  the  American  Bottom.  He  had  resided  on 
the  frontiers  of  Kentucky  and  the  Indians  had  taken  two  of  his 
sons  prisoners.  These  two  boys,  Samuel  and  Clement  Gilham, 
remained  with  the  Kickapoos  for  several  years,  and  were  ran- 
somed in  Illinois.  The  Indian  traders  purchased  the  young 
men  from  the  Indians  and  it  took  the  family  many  years'  toil 
and  labor  to  pay  the  ransom.  They  paid  "  Chape -Wollie"" 
Atchison  at  Cahokia. 


Mr.  Murdoch  and  family  emigrated  from  Kentucky  and  settled 
in  the  American  Bottom  in.  1796.  He  resided  near  Judge  Bond, 
where  he  died  the  next  year.  He  was  the  father  of  John  Mur- 
doch, the  eccentric  and  quizzical  personage,  of  some  celebrity 
in  after-times.  The  widow  Murdoch,  in  a  few  years  after  her 
husband's  death,  married  George  Blair,  the  first  proprietor  of 
the  site  of  Belleville. 

The  Big  Prairie,  in  the  American  Bottom,  contained  a  con- 
siderable settlement  before  1800 — more  than  it  ever  did  since. 

James  Gilham  being  the  pioneer,  a  large  connection  of  that 
family  followed  him  and  came  to  Illinois  at  an  early  period. 
They  settled  first  in  the  Big  Prairie. 

The  American  Bottom,  in  early  times,  contained  a  dense  set- 
tlement almost  from  Fort  Chartres  to  Cahokia.  At  one  time, 
I  presume,  three-fourths  of  the  American  population  in  Illinois, 
resided  in  this  bottom.  The  people  residing  in  the  American 
Bottom  gave  tone  and  character  to  a  great  extent  to  the  entire 
population  of  the  country. 

The  customs  and  habits  of  the  early  settlers  of  the  Bottom 
were  fashioned  very  much  on  the  French  model.  They  were 
extremely  gay,  polite,  and  merry. 

In  the  American  Bottom  a  support  for  a  man  and  family 
arose  almost  spontaneous.  The  Indian  wars  were  closed  and 
the  people  enjoyed  a  kind  of  perpetual  jubilee  for  many  years. 
They  associated  themselves  with  the  French  and  imitated  that 
people  in  their  amusements  and  recreations. 

When  any  work  of  any  importance  was  to  be  done  and  it 
could  not  be  put  off  any  longer,  the  neighbors  assembled  to- 
gether and  organized  themselves  into  a  kind  of  working  frolic, 
and  the  job  was  performed. 

The  harvest  of  wheat  was  always  gathered  in  this  cheerful 
.and  jovial  manner.  No  one  heard  of  pay  for  work  in  harvest 
in  old  times.  House-raisings  were  the  same.  And  if  a  neighbor 
got  behind  with  his  work  from  sickness  or  otherwise,  his  friends 
around  him  assembled  together  and  performed  his  work  without 
pay  or  reward,  except  the  pay  of  an  approving  conscience,  which 
is  better  than  all  the  gold  of  California. 

Flax  was  cultivated  in  these  times,  and  was  often  pulled  at 
the  time  that  the  wheat  was  harvested.  The  girls  frequently 


attended  these  flax  pullings  and  then  animation  and  brilliancy 
were  infused  into  the  whole  atmosphere  at  the  gatherings.  A 
proper  number  of  old  ladies  were  mixed  with  the  girls  to  see 
that  matters  were  conducted  with  a  proper  proportion  of  gayety 
and  merriment,  together  with  moderation  and  decorum.  Other 
females  were  in  attendance  at  the  cooking- department,  while 
the  grown  men  were  out  in  the  wheat-field,  with  each  one  a 
reap-hook  or  sickle  in  his  hand.  The  aged  men  and  boys  were 
shocking  the  wheat  and  carrying  out  water. 

At  noon  all  came  in  to  dinner.  Then  there  was  a  feast  of 
good  feeling  with  both  the  young  and  the  old.  The  whole 
people,  male  and  female,  would  wash  and  fix  up  for  dinner. 
These  personal  preparations  with  the  young  people  were 
speedily  made,  so  that  they  would  be  the  sooner  in  the  gay  and 
cheerful  society  of  each  other. 

When  these  pioneers  mixed  together  under  shade  trees  at 
these  gatherings,  much  kind  feeling  and  sociability  were  en- 
joyed. The  aged  sires  were  proud  to  see  their  sons  do  a  man's 
work  in  the  harvest-field,  while  the  old  matrons  were  excited 
with  intense  feeling  of  pleasure  to  see  their  daughters  make 
such  a  decent  appearance  and  so  much  admired  and  esteemed 
by  the  people. 

Groups  of  old  men  were  often  sitting  on  the  grass,  under  the 
shade  of  a  tree,  with  a  bottle  of  Monongahela  or  tafia  in  the 
centre,  and  talking  over  the  Indian  battles  they  fought  before 
Wayne's  treaty,  and  what  hard  fights  they  had  with  the  British 
and  tories  at  the  Cow-Pens,  Guildford  Court-House,  and  King's 
Mountain.  These  old  sires,  at  times,  were  excited  at  these  con- 
vivial meetings,  with  liquor  and  the  wars,  until  they  burst  all 
restraint  and  swore  eternal  enmity  against  the  British  and  tories 

It  did  their  hearts  good  to  exult  over  the  manner  they  hung 
the  tories  in  North  Carolina,  and  at  last  Providence  and  Wash- 
ington conquered  the  whole  concern  at  Yorktown. 

It  must  be  recollected  that  these  times  were  but  a  few  years 
after  the  Revolution,  and  all  the  transactions  of  that  terrible 
conflict  were  fresh  in  the  minds  of  these  old  men  and  perhaps 
many  of  them  had  been  engaged  in  them.  But  it  was  the  young 
folks  at  these  harvest  noons  that  forgot  dull  care  and  enjoyed 
themselves  with  a  hilarity  and  social  feeling  that  can  not  be 


described.  These  young  people,  after  they  washed  and  the 
girls  made  their  toilets,  under  the  shade  of  a  tree,  met  perhaps 
at  a  fine  spring  of  water,  in  the  shade,  and  talked,  laughed,  and 
almost  amalgamated  together.  Then  was  seen  innocent  and 
honest  society.  Many  of  this  young  group  had  neither  shoes- 
or  moccasons  on  their  feet,  but  washed  them  clean,  and  the  cus- 
tom and  times  made  it  all  right. 

After  the  common  salutations  were  closed  and  the  crowd 
seated  on  the  grass,  some  one  would  propose  a  song.  At  that 
day  songs  were  much  admired  and  enjoyed.  The  singer,  as  a 
matter  of  course,  had  a  bad  cold..  He  "  kotch  his  cold,"  he  saidr 
"  by  running  after  a  wounded  deer."  However,  after  the  proper 
solicitation,  he  commenced  to  cough  and  spit  and  then  asked, 
"What  song  will  I  sing?"  Half  a  dozen  mouths  shouted  for 
"  William  Riley." 

In  old  times,  if  a  song  was  not  sung  loud,  it  was  no  singing 
at  all.  Often  this  "  William-Riley  "  song  was  sung  so  loud  that 
it  could  be  heard  to  a  considerable  distance.  He  finished,  and 
the  common  praise  was  given  to  the  song  and  singer,  and  dinner 
was  announced. 

A  table  was  erected  under  a  shade,  with  the  sides  and  bottom 
planks  of  a  wagon-body,  placed  on  cross-pieces  of  timber,  sup- 
ported by  forks  set  in  the  ground.  This  table  was  made  in  pro- 
portion to  the  company.  All  the  dishes,  plates,  knives,  etc.,  of 
the  neighborhood  were  collected  for  the  occasion.  Benches, 
stools,  boards,  and  all  such  articles  were  prepared,  on  which  to 
seat  the  company. 

Almost  always  two  very  dissimilar  things  were  mixed  together 
at  these  dinners,  grace  at  the  table  and  on  it  several  bottles  of 
liquor.  It  was  the  universal  custom,  in  olden  times,  to  use  spirit- 
ous  liquors  at  these  gatherings.  Sometimes  these  harvest-frolics 
were  closed  up  at  night  with  a  dance.  At  all  events,  all  went 
home  in  fine  humor. 

I  do  not  believe  that  any  happier  people  existed  anywhere 
than  in  the  American  Bottom  for  twenty  years,  from  1790  to 
1810.  These  were  the  palmy  days  of  the  American  Bottom, 
and  such  a  feast  and  flow  of  good  feelings,  generosity,  and  most 
of  the  virtues  that  adorn  human  nature,  as  were  experienced  in 
the  American  Bottom,  rarely  exist  in  any  country. 


About  this  time,  1796,  a  small  settlement  was  formed  between 
the  Bellefontaine  and  the  Mississippi  Bluff.  Short,  Griffin,  Gib- 
bons, Roberts,  Valentine,  and  some  others  were  located  in  this 
vicinity.  These  inhabitants  resided  here  a  few  years  and  aban- 
doned the  new  settlement  entirely.  A  large  graveyard  in  this 
settlement  may  be  seen  to  this  day. 

William  Scott,  an  ancient  and  respectable  pioneer  of  Illinois, 
was  born  of  Irish  parents,  in  Botetourt  County,  Va.,  in  1745. 
He  emigrated  to  Woodford  County,  Kentucky,  and  remained 
there  for  many  years.  He  was  energetic  and  ambitious,  like 
most  of  the  pioneers,  to  explore  new  countries.  He  visited 
Illinois  in  1794,  with  an  intention  to  reside  in  it  if  he  liked  it; 
but  he  returned  to  Kentucky  and  entered  into  a  traffic  between 
Frankfort  and  St.  Louis,  in  the  then  Spanish  country. 

He  and"  his  partner,  Branham,  fitted  out  at  Frankfort,  on  the 
Kentucky  River,  a  small  craft,  laden  with  articles  for  the 
St.  Louis  market.  They  continued  this  trade  to  St.  Louis  for 
two  years,  and  when  they  dissolved  the  partnership,  Mr.  Scott 
found  that  his  partner  had  injured  him  to  a  considerable 
amount.  This  was  one  reason  of  his  leaving  Kentucky. 

Late  in  the  fall  of  1797,  the  family  of  Mr.  Scott  and  son-in- 
law,  Jarvis,  emigrated  from  Kentucky  to  Illinois  by  land  and 
reached  the  Horse-Prairie  Town,  on  the  Kaskaskia  River,  which 
was  the  first  white  settlement  they  saw  in  the  country. 

Mr.  Scott,  having  remained  in  Kentucky  a  short  time,  joined 
his  family  at  the  New  Design  the  same  fall,  and  about  Christ- 
mas, they  all  located  themselves  on  Turkey  Hill.  This  place, 
with  the  French  and  Indians,  was  conspicuous  as  a  trading-post. 
The  Indians  had  made  this  place  their  camping-ground  for  ages 
past,  and  the  traders  had  met  them  there  with  merchandise  to 
•exchange  for  their  peltries,  furs,  etc.  Blue-grass  grew  around 
this  beautiful  eminence,  and  other  indications  show  it  to  be  a 
place  of  general  and  ancient  resort  of  the  Indians  and  Indian 
traders.  Turkey  Hill  is  a  commanding  and  imposing  situation. 
It  rises  to  a  considerable  height  and  can  be  seen  from  the  east 
'at  thirty  or  forty  miles  distance.  Turkey  Hill  was  known  to 
the  French  by  the  name  of  Cote  de  Dindc  for  more  than  one 
hundred  years  past,  and  many  legends  and  tales  of  olden  times 
are  told  of  the  Indians  of  this  place. 


Tradition  says  that  the  Tamarawa  Indians  had  a  large  town 
on  Turkey  Hill  a  great  many  years  ago,  and  that  the  Great 
Spirit  sent  an  old  Indian,  a  wise,  good  man,  with  the  seeds  of 
all  the  good  things  for  the  Indians — corn,  beans,  potatoes,  and 
peas — and  this  old  man  showed  them  how  to  plant  and  raise 
them.  That  the  old  man  lived  with  them  many  years  and  gave 
them  good  advice:  never  to  go  to  war  or  to  kill  any  one.  For 
a  long  time,  while  this  good  man  lived  with  them,  the  Tamara- 
was  did  well ;  but  at  last  the  Indians  got  too  proud  and  did 
bad;  then  this  good,  wise  man  left  them.  This  tradition  may 
be  the  reason  that  the  prairie  south  of  Turkey  Hill  was  called 
Prairie  Tamarawas. 

At  the  time  Mr.  Scott  settled  himself  on  Turkey  Hill,  he  and 
the  Indians  held  the  country  as  tenants  in  common.  The  Kicka- 
poos  were  his  nearest  neighbors.  They  hunted  and  resided 
much  of  the  year  near  him,  but  were  friendly  after  Wayne's 

Mr.  Scott  and  family  were  the  first  American  settlers  north- 
east of  Whiteside's  Station,  in  the  present  county  of  Monroe, 
and  remained  so  for  several  years.  He  had  a  large  family  of 
sons,  which  enabled  him  to  sustain  himself  in  his  new  settle- 
ment, which  was  so  much  in  advance  of  the  white  population. 

His  sons,  in  1798,  being  the  next  year  after  their  arrival  at 
Turkey  Hill,  cultivated  a  crop  in  the  American  Bottom,  and 
also  some  improvement  was  made  on  Turkey  Hill  the  same 
year.  After  this  year,  the  family  made  a  large  improvement 
on  Turkey  Hill,  where  they  all  resided  for  many  years  together 
in  peace  and  happiness. 

At  length  the  sons  married  and  settled  in  the  neighborhood 
around  the  venerable  patriarch,  until  he  might,  with  propriety, 
say:  "  I  have  filled  my  destiny;  I  have  run  my  race;  I  see  my 
family  and  my  country  happy,  and  that  makes  me  happy." 

Turkey-Hill  settlement  was  the  next  important  colony  of  the 
Americans  after  that  of  the  New  Design  and  the  American 
Bottom.  This  settlement  and  Mr.  Scott  became  quite  conspicu- 
ous and  were  known  throughout  the  West,  until  the  country 
became  densely  populated  and  the  original  names  disappeared. 
He  was  known  far  and  near  as  Turkey-Hill  Scott,  and  around 
him,  the  next  year  after  his  location,  Hosea  Rigg,  Samuel 
Schook,  and  a  few  others,  settled. 


Mr.  Scott  lived  a  long  and  eventful  life  of  nearly  eighty- three 
years,  and  died  on  Turkey  Hill  in  1828,  regretted  and  lamented 
by  the  community  generally.  He  was  a  man  of  excellent  moral 
and  honest  character.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Methodist- 
Episcopal  church  for  many  years,  and  sustained  himself  in  that 
high  and  honorable  station,  which  proved  that  his  heart  was 
impressed  with  Christian  principles.  He  possessed  a  sound 
judgment  and  much  practical  experience,  and  was  not  ambitious 
of  either  wealth  or  worldly  distinction.  He  purchased,  in  early 
times,  four  military  land-warrants,  of  one  hundred  acres  each, 
and  located  them  on  Turkey  Hill.  He  also  was  possessed  of 
sufficient  worldly  gear  to  make  himself  and  family  comfortable 
and  happy. 

Toward  the  close  of  his  life,  he  turned  his  attention  to  books 
and  study;  passed  off  his  advanced  years  in  the  pleasures  of 
meditation  and  reflection.  He  was  intelligent  and  communica- 
tive, and  when  he  died,  he  left  no  enemies,  but  a  host  of  friends 
and  acquaintances  to  mourn  his  death. 

Nathaniel  Hull  was  born  and  raised  to  almost  maturity  in 
the  State  of  Massachusetts.  He  was,  like  most  of  those  of  the 
Bay  State,  educated,  and  was  a  plain,  good  scholar.  He  emi- 
grated to  Illinois  about  1780.  He  and  several  other  young 
men  in  the  Revolution  left  their  native  State  and  traveled  west. 
Hull  descended  the  Ohio  to  a  point  near  Ford's  Ferry,  on  that 
river,  and  came  across  by  land  to  Kaskaskia.  This  place  on 
the  Ohio  was  afterward  known  as  Hull's  Landing,  and  at  it,  in 
1786,  the  Lemen  family  and  others  landed  and  came  across  the 
country  to  the  settlements. 

At  this  day  the  Indians  were  not  hostile  as  afterward,  so  that 
Hull  and  party  escaped  thro  the  wilderness  without  injury.  He 
located  himself  in  the  American  Bottom,  and  in  a  few  years 
after,  he  married  into  the  O'Hara  family.  He  settled  at  the 
foot  of  the  bluff  in  the  Bottom,  and  there  made  a  plantation 
and  erected  a  block-house  fort,  as  has  already  been  narrated. 
He  soon  acquired  the  name  of  Capt.  Hull,  which  he  richly 
deserved  by  his  talents  and  energies  in  defending  the  country 
from  Indian  depredations. 

The  residence  of  Capt.  Hull  became,  in  early  times,  a  com- 
mon centre  of  attraction  of  the  people,  for  information  and  for 


the  backwoods  discussions  of  the  best  mode  of  defence  against 
the  Indians.  His  sage  councils  were  always  received  with  much 
respect.  A  post-office  and  small  store  were  established  at  his 
block-house.  He  headed  many  a  party  in  pursuit  of  the  com- 
mon enemy  when  any  depredation  was  committed  by  them. 

In  1794,  he  went  back  to  Massachusetts  for  his  brother,  Daniel 
Hull,  and  moved  him  and  family  to  the  American  Bottom. 

Capt.  Hull  raised  a  large  and  respectable  family.  One  of 
his  sons,  Daniel  Hull,  joined  the  Rocky-Mountain  Company  oi 
Emanuel  Liza  and  others,  and  started  to  the  mountains  in  1809. 
He  was  destroyed  there  by  a  white-bear. 

Capt.  Hull  was  not  only  a  good  scholar,  but  he  read,  reflected, 
and  made  himself  a  very  respectable  and  intelligent  man.  He 
delighted  to  read  the  scenes  and  transactions  of  the  Revolution. 
He  was  unambitious  for  office,  but  the  public  prevailed  on  him 
to  act  as  justice-of-the-peace  and  county-court  judge  for  Ran- 
dolph County.  He  administered  justice  and  equity  for  many 
years  in  these  capacities.  The  whole  community  was  satisfied 
and  pleased  with  his  official  acts;  but  it  was  in  the  county-court 
where  his  sound  judgment  and  influence  did  the  people  the  most 
service.  He  was  for  many  years  the  main  pillar  of  the  Ran- 
dolph-County court. 

At  all  times  the  county-court,  under  our  system  of  laws,  is 
an  important  tribunal.  It  assesses  the  taxes  and  enforces  their 
collection.  Bridges,  public  roads,  court-houses,  etc.,  are  within 
the  jurisdiction  of  this  ancient  county-court.  Justice  Hull  per- 
formed well,  to  the  satisfaction  of  the  people,  all  of  these  duties. 

He  turned  his  attention  almost  exclusively  to  the  improve- 
ment and  cultivation  of  his  plantation.  He  delighted  in  his 
residence.  Just  before  he  died,  he  enjoined  it  on  his  friends  to 
bury  him  on  the  bluff  adjoining  his  plantation,  and,  moreover, 
he  requested  them  to  bury^him  standing  on  his  feet,  overlooking 
his  premises.  His  grave  was  made  and  he  was  buried  in  the 
manner  he  requested  ;  it  was  handsomely  paled  in  and  was 
an  object  of  inquiry  and  discussion  for  many  years  after  his 
burial.  He  died  in  1806.  He  possessed  a  character  for  probity 
and  integrity  that  was  recognized  by  all.  His  death,  in  his 
neighborhood  and,  in  fact,  throughout  the  country,  was  very 
much  lamented  and  regretted.  Capt.  Hull  stood  as  the  main 


pillar  of  society  in  his  neighborhood,  and  was  in  the  same  pro- 
portion mourned  for  at  his  decease.  But  such  are  the  immu- 
table laws  of  Providence.  We  may  regret  death,  yet  the  law  is 
just,  because  it  is  the  command  of  God.  The  great  Roman 

poet  said : 

"  Nor  loud  lament,  nor  silent  tear  deplore 
The  fate  of  Ennius  when  he  7s  no  more." 

John  De  Moulin  was  a  native  of  Switzerland  and  was  a  man 
of  science  and  high  classic  attainment.  He  was  educated  a 
gentleman  and  sustained  that  character  thro  life.  De  Moulin 
emigrated  to  Canada  from  Switzerland.  He  settled  in  Cahokia 
in  1798,  and  became  a  conspicuous  and  interesting  character. 

In  1790,  he  was  the  chief-justice  of  the  court  of  common- 
pleas  of  the  Cahokia  district  of  St.  Clair  County.  The  writs  of 
that  day  were  issued  in  his  name  and  dated  at  Cahokia.  He 
was  also  elected  colonel  of  the  county  and  held  that  office  for 
many  years.  He  was,  for  a  long  series  of  years,  a  justice-of- 
the-peace  and  also  a  judge  of  probate.  At  this  time,  in  1790, 
and  for  many  years  after,  Col.  De  Moulin  was  the  most  popular 
man  in  the  county. 

He  was  a  large  trader  in  lands.  His  name  is  found  on  the 
ancient  records  of  land  titles,  almost  as  much  as  any  other  per- 
son in  the  county.  Being  a  classic  scholar  in  Europe,  he  under- 
stood well  the  civil  law  and  was  a  good  lawyer,  altho  he  did 
not  practise  in  the  courts.  He  practised  law  to  great  advantage 
in  his  own  business.  He  studied  the  titles  of  the  lands  in  mar- 
ket at  that  day,  and  was  well  versed  in  the  science  of  land  specu- 
lation. By  this  commerce  he  obtained  a  living  and  a  compe- 
tency. At  one  time  he  was  considered  a  wealthy  citizen,  but 
in  the  decline  of  his  life,  he  was  not  so  attentive  to  business 
and  was  stationary  or  declined  in  wealth. 

He  was  colonel  of  the  county  and  made  it  his  duty,  as  it  was 
his  pleasure,  to  drill,  train,  and  keep  in  organization  the  militia 
of  the  county.  De  Moulin  studied  military  tactics  as  they  were 
understood  and  practised  in  the  time  of  Louis  Quatorze. 

The  French  were  born  a  military  people  and  the  Americans 
were  harassed  by  the  Indians;  so  that  the  whole  community, 
French  and  Americans,  were  zealous  and  anxious  to  carry  out 
the  efforts  of  the  colonel  on  this  subject. 


The  spirit  of  military  training  was  more  popular  in  olden 
times  than  at  present.  I  think  the  old  custom  should  be  pre- 
served. It  should  be  a  part  of  the  education  of  an  American 
citizen  to  know  well  the  use  of  arms;  so  that  he  could  be  a 
soldier,  ready  for  battle  at  the  shortest  notice.  For  the  defence 
of  our  free  institutions  the  citizens  should  be  prepared  at  all 

It  is  not  the  friendship  that  the  monarchies  of  Europe  have 
for  us  that  makes  them  respect  us ;  it  is  our  power  of  defence. 
Therefore,  to  be  prepared  for  defence,  we  should  drill  and  train 
our  citizens.  To  be  always  prepared  for  an  effectual  defence, 
will  secure  us  an  eternal  peace. 

Col.  De  Moulin  was  large,  portly,  and  an  elegant  figure  of  a 
man.  He  took  great  pride  in  his  appearance  on  parade  days, 
and  wore  generally  a  splendid  military  dress  on  these  occasions. 
His  subaltern  officers  respected  him  and  obeyed  his  orders  to 
the  letter.  He  had  that  natural  gift  to  command  without  giv- 
ing offence.  The  militia  of  the  county,  under  his  command, 
was  well  trained  and  well  disciplined  and  efficient. 

He  continued  a  single  man  during  his  residence  in  Illinois, 
and  died  without  wife,  children,  or  relatives  of  any  degree  in 
the  country.  He  kept  house  and  was  slandered  in  friendship, 
after  the  manner  Jefferson  was,  in  reference  to  his  female  cook 
of  a  sable  color. 

It  was  rumored  that  Col.  De  Moulin  had  a  female  acquaint- 
ance in  Europe,  whom  he  had  promised  before  the  church  to 
love  and  cherish.  This  was  not  true,  I  presume,  as  no  one  ever 
came  after  his  death  to  examine  his  estate.  His  residence  in 
Cahokia  was  a  medium  between  a  bachelor-hall  and  the  staid 
mansion,  governed  by  a  wise  and  decent  matron.  He  was  him- 
self a  moral  and  correct  man,  and  never  permitted  himself  to 
relax  into  low  or  vulgar  society.  He  always  deported  himself, 
as  he  was,  a  well-bred  gentleman. 

He  made  a  commencement  of  a  small  water-mill  on  the  Mis- 
sissippi Bluff,  not  far  east  of  the  Falling  Spring.  He  died  at 
this  place  in  1808.  He  was  universally  esteemed  and  respected. 
His  virtues  of  benevolence,  kindness,  and  generosity  were  not 
questioned,  and  he  lived  and  died  very  popular.  His  death 
was  considered  a  calamity  to  the  country.  He  had  very  few, 


or  rather  no,  enemies.  Altho  he  speculated  in  lands,  he  was 
honest  and  correct.  His  character  was  much  to  be  admired 
and  very  little  to' be  condemned.  He  possessed  a  sound,  well- 
balanced  mind;  not  of  the  higher  order,  but  very  respectable. 

Nicholas  Jarrot  was  an  ancient  and  respectable  pioneer  of 
Illinois.  He  was  a  native  of  Franche  Compte  in  France  and 
was  a  younger  branch  of  a  highly  respectable  family.  He 
received  a  liberal  education  and  was,  withal,  a  gentleman  of 
elegant  and  accomplished  manners.  His  education  and  his 
suavity  of  manners  made  him  an  acceptable  member  of  any 
society  wherein  he  might  be. 

The  troubles  in  France  in  1790  caused  him  to  emigrate  to 
the  land  of  the  free  and  the  home  of  the  brave.  He  landed 
at  Baltimore  and  traveled  to  New  Orleans  and  perhaps  to 
Havana.  At  last  he  reached  Cahokia,  in  1794,  and  pitched 
his  tent  in  this  place  for  his  residence  during  life.  He  came 
to  Cahokia  a  poor  young  man,  a  stranger  and  a  foreigner, 
without  family  connections  or  friends,  but  by  his  talents  and 
energy,  in  a  few  years  he  acquired  an  immense  fortune,  and 
what  is  better,  a  very  respectable  standing. 

It  was  not  in  the  nature  of  Mr.  Jarrot  to  be  idle.  His  very 
composition  was  activity  and  energy.  All  the  repose  or  leisure 
he  desired  to  take  was  enough  to  recruit  his  physical  strength, 
that  he  might  enjoy  the  luxury  of  activity  and  his  incessant 
application  to  business.  His  pleasure,  his  happiness,  and  his 
sinnmuni  bonnm  was  an  indefatigable  industry.  His  mind  was 
strong,  active,  and  sprightly.  It  was  trained  and  disciplined 
by  education. 

In  early  times  he  was  elected  a  major  in  a  battalion  of  the 
St.  Clair  military,  and  for  years  he  was  known,  far  and  near,  as 
Major  Jarrot. 

He  was  like  the  honey-bee:  as  soon  as  he  reached  Cahokia, 
he  commenced  business.  He  obtained  a  small  supply  of  Indian 
goods  and  became  partially  an  Indian  trader.  Almost  every 
year  he  either  went  himself  in  his  boat  or  sent  it  with  goods 
to  the  Upper  Mississippi,  to  Prairie  du  Chien,  or  the  Falls  of 
St.  Anthony,  or  in  that  region  of  country.  He  bartered  off 
such  articles  as  the  natives  needed,  for  their  furs,  peltries,  etc. 
He  also  kept  a  small  retail  store  of  goods,  suitable  to  the 
market  in  Cahokia,  for  many  years  after  his  first  arrival. 


Altho  he  commenced  in  an  humble  manner  in  these  com- 
mercial operations,  yet  to  advance  his  capital  was  certain.  He 
saw  and  attended  to  the  business  in  person,  so  that  he  knew 
every  moment  what  he  was  doing.  In  early  times  the  Indian 
trade  was  very  lucrative.  At  times  two  or  three  hundred  per 
cent  was  realized  on  the  goods  sold  to  the  Indians.  This  traffic 
was  the  first  rise  that  Major  Jarrot  made  to  reach  the  fortune 
he  acquired. 

Not  long  before  the  war  of  1812,  with  Great  Britain,  the 
British  traders  excited  the  Indians  against  the  American  popu- 
lation and  the  American  traders.  Altho  Major  Jarrot  was  a 
Frenchman,  yet  he  was  carrying  on  his  commerce  under  the 
American  flag.  It  was  the  custom  of  the  Indian  traders  to 
make  the  village  of  Prairie  du  Chien  their  main  depot  of  goods 
and  carry  such  articles  out  to  the  Indian  hunting-grounds  as 
the  red-skins  needed. 

Jarrot  took  two  men  and  some  goods  out  from  the  village 
some  distance  to  a  large  Indian  camp.  The  Indians  expected 
"him  and  were  frantic  with  rage  against  him,  because  he  was 
an  American.  This  was  effected  by  the  British  traders.  The 
Indians  were  determined  to  kill  him  and  take  his  merchandise. 
Jarrot  and  his  men  were  only  armed  with  shot-guns,  expecting 
no  enmity  from  the  Indians.  The  warriors,  to  a  considerable 
number,  armed  themselves  for  murder  and  proceeded  out  of 
.the  camps  to  meet  Jarrot. 

The  Indians  raised  the  warwhoop  and  brandished  their 
spears  and  tomahawks  in  the  air.  It  was  approaching  an 
alarming  crisis.  Jarrot  and  men  seemed  to  be  doomed  to 
•destruction.  The  furious  savages  would  not  permit  a  parley; 
but  at  last,  when  the  warriors  were  so  near  Jarrot  that  it  might 
be  fatal  with  him,  one  of  his  old  friends,  a  Winnebago  Indian, 
stepped  before  the  crowd  of  warriors  and  raised  a  terrific  war- 
whoop,  such  as  the  Indians  use  in  a  battle  where  they  are  sure 
to  be  destroyed.  It  is  a  kind  of  death-cry,  so  called  by  them. 
The  Indian  was  armed  with  all  the  weapons  used  by  the  infu- 
riated savages  in  mortal  conflict. 

The  warriors  saw  the  danger  they  were  in.  One  or  more  of 
them  must  be  slain  by  the  friend  of  Jarrot,  if  they  persisted  in 
the  attempt  to  murder  him  and  party.  The  bravery  of  the 


Winnebago  made  them  reflect,  and  they  desisted  from  the 
cowardly  act  to  assassinate  the  trader. 

Jarrot  and  men  were  saved  by  the  noble  daring  of  this  wild 
savage.  The  Indians  changed  his  former  name  to  that  of 
Jarrot,  and  he  was  always  known  by  that  name  afterward.  I 
saw  this  Indian,  who  was  called  Jarrot,  at  Galena,  in  1829. 

Maj.  Jarrot  erected  a  horse-mill  in  Cahokia,  which  was  profit- 
able to  himself  and  serviceable  to  the  public.  This  mill  was  in 
operation  before  and  during  the  war  of  1812,  and  assisted  much 
in  providing  the  supplies  for  the  troops  engaged  in  that  war. 

In  1810,  while  Jarrot  was  at  Prairie  du  Chien,  trading  with 
the  Indians,  altho  it  was  greatly  against  his  interest,  reported 
faithfully  to  the  government  the  hostile  disposition  of  the 
Indians  toward  the  United  States. 

In  the  war  of  1812,  he  organized  a  company  to  proceed  to 
Peoria,  and  he  fortified  his  boat  for  the  expedition  in  1813,  and 
made  the  voyage  to  Peoria  in  safety,  altho  the  Illinois  River 
was  lined  with  the  hostile  .Indians. 

In  early  times,  he  turned  his  talents  and  energies  to  the  com- 
merce in  land  claims  and  to  the  land  itself.  Various  acts  of 
congress  granted  to  the  ancient  inhabitants  of  Illinois  certain 
claims  to  land.  These  claims  were  to  be  adjusted  and  allowed 
by  the  proper  officers  of  the  general  government.  Many  of 
the  inhabitants  were  poor  and  could  not  wait  for  the  general 
government  to  adjust  the  claims;  also  many  were  uninformed  as 
to  the  manner  of  obtaining  their  rights.  This  situation  of  the 
country  enabled  Jarrot  and  others  to  make  advantageous  pur- 
chases of  these  land  claims. 

He  acquired  an  immense  fortune  in  real  estate,  which,  with 
some  debts,  descended  to  his  heirs  at  his  death.  He  owned  the 
best  selection  of  land  in  the  country.  At  one  time  he  owned 
the  greatest  po'rtion  of  the  Wiggins- Ferry  Landing,  opposite 
St.  Louis. 

The  most  unfortunate  policy  of  Major  Jarrot  was  his  mania 
for  mills.  His  talents,  energies,  wealth,  and  ambition  were  all 
enlisted  to  build  and  maintain  a  water-mill  on  Cahokia  Creek. 
This  mill  was  situated  a  few  miles  northeast  of  Illinoistown, 
and  was  not  only  the  cause  of  his  expending  great  quantities  of 
money  to  no  effect,  but  at  last  he  lost  his  life  by  the  exposure, 


fatigue,  and  sickness  he  experienced  at  this  mill.  During  a 
period  of  about  ten  years,  he  exerted  all  his  energies  and  means 
to  sustain  this  mill,  and  at  last  he  and  it  both  perished  in  the 
struggle.  He  was  contending  against  the  elements  in  the 
American  Bottom  like  Napoleon  did  at  Moscow.  The  sand- 
banks of  the  creek,  the  swamps  near  the  mill,  and  sickness  suc- 
ceeded over  him  like  the  cold  winter  did  over  Napoleon  Bona- 
parte in  Russia.  Moreover,  this  mill  caused  Major  Jarrot  much 
trouble  and  expense  by  the  dam  raising  the  water  and  flooding 
the  lowlands  near  Cahokia  Creek,  above  the  mill. 

William  Robb  built  another  water-mill  on  the  creek,  above 
Jarrot's,  and  contended  that  Cahokia  Creek  was  a  navigable 
stream  below  his  mill.  Robb  built  a  boat  and  loaded  it  with 
flour.  He  assembled  many  of  his  neighbors  and  forced  his  boat 
thro  Jarrot's  mill-dam.  He  did  much  injury  to  the  dam.  Robb 
was  indicted,  but  the  traverse  jury  did  not  agree ;  thus  the 
matter  ended. 

Maj.  Jarrot  held  the  offices  of  justice-of-the-peace  and  judge 
of  the  county-court  of  St.  Clair  for  many  years.  Jarrot's  name 
is  often  found  on  the  records  of  the  court  in  ancient  times,  and 
his  services  in  the  judicial  department  were  always  respected 
by  the  people ;  his  decisions  on  the  bench  were  prompt  and 

Maj.  Jarrot  erected  in  Cahokia  one  of  the  first  and  finest 
brick-houses  in  the  country,  and  lived  in  it,  enjoying  all  the 
comforts  of  life.  The  kindness  of  heart  and  urbanity  of  man- 
ners which  marked  his  actions  attracted  many  visitors  to  his 
mansion,  where  they  were  received  and  entertained  by  him  and 
his  interesting  family  in  a  polished  and  elegant  style. 

Maj.  Jarrot  raised  a  very  large  and  respectable  family.  His 
first  wife  was  a  Miss  Barbeau  of  Prairie  du  Rocher,  who  died 
soon  after  the  birth  of  her  first  child ;  his  next  wife  was  a  Miss 
Beauvais  of  Ste.Genevieve.  This  lady  possessed  a  strong  mind, 
together  with  a  mild  and  amiable  disposition;  so  that  she  was, 
thro  the  earthly  career  of  her  husband,  a  great  support  and 
solace  to  him. 

Jarrot  was  much  devoted  to  his  family,  and  educated  and 
improved  them  all  in  his  power.  In  1823,  he  died  in  Cahokia, 
and  his  family  showed  their  sorrow  and  grief  not  only  in  their 


kind  feelings  and  affection  for  him,  but  also  the  irreparable 
Joss  they  sustained  in  his  death. 

Jarrot  was  a  strict  and  zealous  Roman-catholic,  and  performed 
with  sincere  devotion  all  his  religious  duties  enjoined  by  that 
church.  He  and  his  wife  always  headed  the  family  in  going  to 
and  returning  from  church  on  the  Sabbath. 

Being  strictly  moral,  he  set  his  family  and  others  a  good 
example  of  piety  and  religion.  The  remains  of  this  good  man 
are  resting  in  peace  in  the  ancient  graveyard  of  Cahokia;  this 
small  territory  contains  most  of  the  deceased  of  this  village  for 
the  last  hundred  and  fifty  years. 

A  small  and  sparse  settlemgnt,  mostly  of  Americans,  was 
made  on  the  east  side  of  the  Kaskaskia  River  as  early  as  1780, 
and  for  some  few  years  thereafter,  this  colony  continued  to  in- 
crease. Hilterbrand,  Henry  and  Elijah  Smith,  Daniel  Hix, 
Hayden  Wells,  Teel,  and  some  few  others  resided  on  the  east 
side  of  the  Kaskaskia  River  above  Nine-Mile  Creek,  and  made 
small  improvements  there.  John  Doyle,  John  Montgomery, 
John  Dodge,  M.  Arstugus,  and  only  a  few  others  resided  in  the 
neighborhood  opposite  Kaskaskia,  on  the  east  side  of  the  river. 
Jean  B.  Beavois  made  an  improvement  at  the  head  of  Gravelly 
Creek,  four  miles  east  of  Kaskaskia.  Thos.  Hughes  improved 
on  Nine-Mile  Creek  and  was  killed  emigrating  to  the  country, 
as  before  narrated. 

This  colony  did  not  flourish  to  any  great  extent  From  1780 
to  1795,  the  Indian  war  raged  and  broke  up  this  settlement. 
This  colony  disappeared  and  in  1796  and  1797,  the  first  steps 
were  taken  toward  reestablishing  it.  In  these  two  years,  several 
families  permanently  settled  on  the  east  side  of  the  Kaskaskia 
River  and  remained  there.  Hughes,  McDonough,  Kelly,  Ander- 
son, and  Pettitt,  with  their  families,  formed  a  small  settlement 
and  occupied  about  the  same  neighborhood  which  the  previous 
colony  did.  Andrew  Dunks  arrived  soon  after  and  improved 
on  Nine-Mile  Creek,  in  this  settlement. 

This  small  colony  did  not  increase  in  numbers  for  many 
years,  altho  they  lived  happy  and  improved  their  farms.  They 
had  the  village  of  Kaskaskia  and  the  Kaskaskia  Indians  for 
their  neighbors.  Gen.  Edgar's  mill  in  their  immediate  vicinity 
was  a  great  inducement  to  reside  there.  No  schools  or  religious 


meetings  were  enjoyed  for  many  years  in  this  settlement.  The 
Indians  who  were  disposed  to  friendship,  begging  and  stealing, 
were  their  most  common  visitors. 

Stace  McDonough  was  the  main  pillar  and  leader  in  this  set- 
tlement. He  was  born  in  New  Jersey  in  1770,  and  when  an 
infant,  his  father  and  mother  died,  leaving  him  on  the  cold 
charities  of  the  world  ;  he  was  bound  out,  but  followed  the 
common  practice  of  leaving  his  boss,  and  both  sides  throwing 
the  blame  on  the  other.  This  much  can  be  said  against  his 
principal :  that  McDonough  never  received  any  school-house 
education  whatever.  This  fault  is  set  down  on  the  side  of  his 

As  soon  as  he  was  able,  he  emigrated  West,  and  when  a 
youth,  he  was  engaged  in  the  military  service  of  the  country. 

McDonough  was  a  soldier  in  many  of  the  expeditions  with 
the  Kentucky  troops  against  the  Indians  toward  Detroit.  He 
was  athletic,  stout,  and  courageous,  and  was,  moreover,  an  excel- 
lent marksman.  With  these  qualifications,  he  frequently  acted 
as  a  spy.  He  possessed  a  strong  natural  mind  and  employed 
all  his  energies,  mind,  and  body  to  the  service  of  his  country; 
and  was  a  conspicuous  man  in  his  sphere  in  the  campaign  under 
Gen.  Clark,  from  the  Falls  to  the  Wabash,  in  1786.  Altho  he 
was  then  only  sixteen  years  old,  the  experience  of  many  years 
was  realized  by  him. 

McDonough  entered  the  service  of  the  government  in  1790,. 
and  was  entrusted  with  the  command  of  a  number  of  pack- 
horses  in  the  campaign  of  Gen.  Harmar.  In  that  campaign  he 
was  engaged  and  was  always  found  in  the  many  charges  on 
the  Indians,  ordered  by  the  general.  After  returning  with  the 
troops,  he  entered  the  service  under  Gen.  St.  Clair  in  1791,  and 
was  again  engaged  in  the  responsible  duties  of  commanding  the 
convoys  of  provisions  for  the  army,  and  was  an  honest,  trust- 
worthy agent  of  the  quartermaster  department.  Altho  he  knew 
not  a  letter  in  the  book,  yet  he  was  intrusted  with  this  impor- 
tant command. 

McDonough  was  in  the  disastrous  defeat  of  Gen.  St.  Clair> 
November  4,  1791,  where  eight  or  nine  hundred  men  were  slain, 
and  always  said  the  whole  catastrophe  was  the  fault  of  the  offi- 
cers— that  the  number,  strength,  and  capacity  of  the  Indians 


were  disregarded  by  the  officers  in  command,  and  sorely  did 
they  pay  for  it.  Butler  lost  his  life  and  St.  Clair  his  character 
and  standing. 

McDonough  often  informed  me  that  the  Indians  surprised  the 
army  and  surrounded  it.  The  militia  were  without  officers  and 
were  so  panic-stricken  that  they  rushed  about  from  one  side  of 
the  camp  to  the  other,  like  a  herd  of  cattle,  without  the  least 
attempt  to  fight  or  defend  themselves.  They  were  butchered 
like  so  many  bullocks  in  a  pen.  By  a  kind  of  instinct  the  crowd 
of  men,  not  soldiers,  of  St.  Clair' s  army  made  a  movement  to 
break  thro  the  hords  of  savages  who  were  around  them,  and 
the  Indians  could  not  kill  all  before  some  escaped.  The  regular 
soldiers  often  charged  on  the  Indians  and  drove  them  a  con- 
siderable distance;  but  other  savages  were  assailing  the  troops 
in  the  rear,  so  that  it  required  another  charge  back  to  reach  the 
camp  again.  McDonough  always  uniformly  stated  that  the  car- 
nage and  numbers  slain  in  that  battle  never  were  stated  in  the 

McDonough  escaped  on  foot  from  this  defeat  and  left  the 
main  route,  where  the  Indians  made  such  havoc  on  the  strag- 
gling men.  After  he  left  the  road  some  distance,  he  found  a 
wounded  officer.  This  man  was  badly  wounded,  supposed  then 
to  be  mortal.  He  was  lying  on  the  ground  almost  exhausted, 
and  mistook  McDonough  to  be  an  Indian  when  he  first  came 
up  to  him.  The  noble  spirit  of  an  American  officer  still  re- 
mained in  this  man,  lying  almost  lifeless  on  the  ground.  He 
drew  his  pistol  and  prepared  for  battle;  but  soon  discovered  a 
friend  instead  of  a  savage  foe.  McDonough  said  he  could  not 
help  smiling,  altho  it  was  a  serious  time,  at  the  ridiculous 
attempt  this  officer  made  to  fight ;  but  it  showed  the  true 
courage  of  an  American  officer.  After  much  exertion  and 
suffering  from  hunger,  McDonough  got  this  officer  and  himself 
safe  into  camp.  Without  help,  the  wounned  man  must  have 
perished;  but  he  recovered  and  lived  many  years  afterward. 

McDonough  was  as  efficient  on  the  water  as  on  land;  being 
an  excellent  river  pilot.  He  commanded  one  of  the  United- 
States  boats  on  the  Ohio  River  in  1793,  and  near  the  mouth  of 
the  Kentucky  River,  he  was  shot  from  the  shore  by  an  Indian 
in  the  shoulder.  Some  white  man  with  the  Indians  hallooed 


out  in  English,  "to  throw  that  man  overboard — he  will  die  in 
a  short  time ! "  This  was  a  severe  wound  and  from  which  he 
never  recovered  altho  he  lived  for  many  years  after.  He  was 
about  obtaining  a  pension  for  this  wound  when  he  died.  Altho 
not  well,  he  embarked  in  the  campaign  under  Gen.  Wayne.  He 
was  anxious  to  see  the  eagles  of  his  country  raised  from  the 
dust  where  the  Indians  had  trampled  them.  He  delighted  to 
serve  under  Mad  Anthony. 

McDonough  was  of  Scotch  descent  and  was  easily  fanned 
into  a  flame.  Of  such  soldiers  as  McDonough,  Wayne  was  the 
commander.  He  fought  thro  the  battle  under  Wayne  and 
hoped  the  general  would  order  a  charge  on  the  British  garrison. 
The  Americans  were  more  enraged  against  the  British,  who 
urged  the  savages  on  to  fight,  than  against  the  Indians  them- 

The  war  having  closed  with  honor,  McDonough  left  the  ser- 
vice in  1795,  and  retired  to  Louisville,  Kentucky.  He  married 
there,  and  in  1797,  as  above  stated,  settled  on  the  place  where 
he  died. 

He  turned  his  attention  to  agriculture  and  improved  a  fine 
plantation  a  short  distance  east  of  Kaskaskia.  He  was  always 
extremely  fond  of  the  rifle  and  spared  some  of  his  time  to  hunt. 
In  early  times,  a  man  who  hunted  none  was  a  rare  thing. 

During  the  war  of  1812,  he  had  the  contract  to  carry  the 
mail  from  St.  Louis  to  Shawneetown  thro  the  wilderness  coun- 
try from  Kaskaskia  to  the  Ohio  River.  This  mail-route  was 
very  important  in  the  war,  as  that  was  the  route  thro  which  the 
correspondence  was  kept  up  between  Illinois  and  Washington 
City.  It  was  a  dangerous  service  on  account  of  the  hostility  of 
the  Indians;  but  he  carried  the  mails  with  punctuality. 

In  the  war,  he  was  captain  of  a  mounted  company  to  defend 
the  frontiers.  He  performed  this  service  to  the  satisfaction  of 
the  public.  He  was  thro  life  a  man  of  great  energy  and  activity. 
Nature  gifted  him  with  a  sound,  strong  mind,  and  altho  he  had 
no  A-B-C  education  yet  his  long  life  thro  so  many  scenes  and 
trials  made  him  intelligent  and  wise.  He  entertained  a  high 
sense  of  honor  and  integrity,  and  no  one  doubted  his  patriotism 
and  devotion  to  his  country.  His  mind  was  well  balanced,  and 
he  was  honest  and  correct  in  all  transactions.  He  lived  for 


almost  half- a -century  on  his  farm  and  died  there.  He  was 
deservedly  popular  and  the  public  regretted  very  much  his 

As  soon  as  the  West  increased  its  population  and  raised  a 
surplus  produce,  the  navigation  of  the  Mississippi  was  all  im- 
portant to  ship  their  surplus  to  market.  It  is  astonishing  at 
this  day  to  look  back  at  the  excitement  of  the  Western  people 
for  the  free  navigation  of  the  river  to  the  ocean.  The  people 
seemed  to  be  frantic  and  almost  crazy  to  do  anything  or  join 
any  government  to  secure  the  free  use  of  the  Mississippi. 

It  must  be  recollected  that  Spain  owned  both  sides  of  the 
Mississippi  at  the  mouth  and  did  actually  prevent  the  West  for 
a  time  to  export  their  products  to  market. 

And  what  is  still  more  astonishing  that  many  leading  char- 
acters in  the  West  were  willing  to  sever  the  Union  for  the  sake 
of  the  navigation  of  the  river  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  A  meet- 
ing of  the  staff-officers  who  were  engaged  in  a  campaign  in 
1786,  from  the  Falls  of  the  Ohio,  Kentucky,  to  chastise  the 
Wabash  Indians,  met  at  Vincennes,  October  8  of  that  year,  and 
agreed  to  organize  a  separate  and  independent  government. 
The  object  of  this  organization  was  mostly  to  secure  the  navi- 
gation of  the  Mississippi. 

The  Spaniards  were  either  to  be  driven  off  or  joined,  as  the 
circumstances  might  be.  This  board  of  field-officers  determined 
"to  garrison  that  post  (Vincennes),  to  raise  supplies  by  impress- 
ment, and  to  enlist  new  troops." 

This  new  government  was  about  to  treat  with  the  Indians 
and  had  seized  a  large  amount  of  Spanish  property  in  Vin- 
cennes and  Illinois.  Letters  were  written  to  the  State  of 
Georgia  to  induce  that  State  to  join  in  the  cause,  as  the  terri- 
tory of  Georgia  came  in  contact  with  the  Spanish  frontier. 

Congress  hearing  of  this  movement  at  Vincennes,  prepared 
troops  to  suppress  this  new  government.  Public  opinion  and 
the  good-sense  of  the  people  put  this  scheme  down,  as  they  did 
the  whiskey  insurrection  and  the  South-Carolina  treason  to  dis- 
member the  Union  in  modern  times. 

The  officers  decided  at  Vincennes  that,  as  the  Spaniards 
would  not  permit  the  Americans  to  descend  the  Mississippi, 
the  Spaniards  should  not  ascend  the  river. 


About  this  time,  1/93,  Gennet,  the  minister  of  the  new  French- 
Republic,  arrived  in  the  United  States.  He  landed  at  Charles- 
ton, South  Carolina,  and  made  a  kind  of  a  triumphal  proces- 
sion from  that  city  to  the  seat  of  government.  He  presumed 
much  on  the  friendly  relations,  which  were  or  ought  to  be  in 
his  opinion,  between  the  United  States  and  the  French  govern- 
ment. It  will  be  recollected  that  France  had  commenced  her 
glorious  revolution  for  freedom  and  had  established  a  republic. 
Gennet  was  its  minister  to  the  Federal  government  and  pre- 
sented himself,  on  March  18,  1793,  to  President  Washington. 
It  also  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  federal  and  republican 
parties  raged  with  violence  and  bitterness  at  this  time.  The 
federalists  took  part  with  Great  Britain  against  France,  while 
the  republicans  were  for  France  and  opposed  to  Great  Britain. 
The  administration  was  rather  federal. 

Gennet,  by  all  the  means  and  arts  in  his  power,  attempted  to 
induce  the  government  to  take  sides  with  France  against  Great 
Britain;  but  the  firmness  and  wisdom  of  Washington  and  his 
cabinet  kept  aloof  from  any  "entangling  alliances"  with  Europe. 
The  same  wise  policy  has  governed  the  councils  of  the  Nation 
to  this  day.  Gennet  was  dissatisfied  with  the  government  and 
appealed  to  the  people.  He  was  a  talented  man  arid  had  just 
come  from  a  warm  political  discussion  in  France  and  attempted 
it  here.  He  had  not  neglected  the  West  and  had  given  com- 
missions out,  even  in  Illinois,  to  levy  troops  to  sustain  the  West 
against  the  Union.  Our  government  requested  the  Republic  o' 
France  to  recall  him  and  they  did  so. 

The  next  minister,  Adet,  who  came  to  the  United  States  in 
1796,  attempted  the  same  policy  but  failed  more  signally  than 
his  predecessor. 

During  this  season  of  excitement  and  confusion  in  the  West, 
the  Spanish  authorities  were  active  and  vigilant  in  carrying  on. 
intrigues  with  many  influential  citizens  of  the  West  to  induce 
them  to  throw  off  their  allegiance  and  become  an  independent 

The  free  navigation  of  the  Mississippi  was  the  great  cause  of 
dissatisfaction,  and  it  was  not  healed  up  until  Jay,  our  minister 
at  the  court  of  Madrid,  made  a  treaty  with  Spain  in  1795,  which 
secured  the  free  navigation  of  the  river  to  us  forever. 


The  Federal  government  was  vigilant  and  active  in  guarding 
against  all  these  assaults  on  the  Union.  The  garrison  at  Fort 
Massac  was  repaired  and  fortified.  Troops  were  stationed  there 
.and  increased  as  danger  threatened.  In  fact,  soldiers  had  been 
.stationed  there  almost  all  the  time  since  the  treaty  of  peace  in 
1783.  Gen.  Wilkinson,  about  1795,  made  below  Massac  what 
was  called  Contonment  Wilkinson.  The  remains  of  this  fort 

•  can  be  seen  at  this  day. 

In  1800,  two  companies  of  regular  soldiers  were  stationed  in 
Fort  Massac.  Capts.  Russell  and  Daniel  Bissell  were  the  com- 

.manders.  One  of  these  companies  was,  in  1802,  ordered  to 
Kaskaskia  and  occupied  the  top  of  the  river  bluff  east  of  Kas- 
kaskia,  where  once  stood  Fort  Gage.  This  company  remained 
there  almost  three  years  and  until  Louisiana  was  transferred  to 
the  United  States  in  1805.  Then  it  was  ordered  off  to  St.  Louis, 
in  Upper  Louisiana,  and  never  returned.  The  celebrated  Zebu- 
Ion  Pike,  who  was  destroyed  in  Upper  Canada,  at  Queenstown, 
was  attached  to  this  company  as  a  subaltern  officer.  He  was 
very  young  at  that  day  and  was  an  active,  energetic  youth. 
He  was  restless  and  ambitious,  and  was  mostly  out  of  the  gar- 

;  rison  on  some  scientific  excursion.  He  delighted,  while  at  Kas- 
kaskia, to  be  on  horseback  and  exploring  the  country  far  and 

Gen.  Wilkinson,  in  the  West,  acted  a  singular  part  as  well  in 
the  transactions  with  Spain  as  with  Aaron  Burr  in  1805.  He 
seemed  to  have  been  born  and  to  have  acted  all  his  life  equivo- 

.  cal.  Courts  of  inquiry  and  the  strictest  investigations  could 
not  reach  any  solid  charge  against  him  ;  but  still  the  public 
always  believed  him  to  be  not  entirely  free  from  blame  or 

.  at  least  of  suspicion.  He  had  fine  talents  and  wrote  his  own 
memoirs  and  even  that  work  leaves  him  doubtful. 

An  officer  of  the  United -States  army,  high  in  command, 
should  act  in  that  elevated  and  upright  manner  that  his  con- 

•  duct  should  be  above  doubt  or  uncertainty.      He  should  "be 
like  Caesar's  wife,  above  suspicion." 

In  1794,  the  celebrated  Isaac  Darnielle  arrived  in  Cahokia 
and  remained  in  the  West  for  several  years.  He  was  the 
second  professed  lawyer  that  emigrated  to  Illinois,  John  Rice 
Jones  being  the  first.  He  was  a  classic  scholar  and  was  in  his 


person  genteel  and  agreeable;  he  possessed  the  easy  and  grace- 
ful manners  of  a  polished  gentleman.  He  was  large  and  portly 
and  made  it  a  sine  qua  non  to  be  extremely  neat  in  his  dress 
and  attentive  to  his  personal  appearance.  He  studied  all  the 
arts  and  mysteries  of  gallantry  and  thereby  made  very  deep 
and  rather  lasting  impressions  on  his  female  friends.  Darnielle 
studied  the  ladies  more  than  he  studied  his  profession  of  the 
law.  He  was  benevolent  and  kind  to  all  mankind,  and  particu- 
larly to  the  ladies.  Rumor  said  that  he  had  been  educated  in 
Maryland  for  the  ministry,  but  his  gallantry  was  too  strong  for 
the  proper  observance  of  the  gospel  precepts.  It  was  also 
stated  that  he  had  occupied  the  pulpit  for  some  time,  but  took 
French  leave  of  his  congregation  and  appeared  next  in  Caho- 
kia.  He  possessed  a  strong  intellect  and  his  faculties  had  been 
well  disciplined  to  study.  His  honesty,  except  in  gallantry, 
was  unquestionable.  With  these  advantages  it  did  not  take 
him  long  to  study  the  law,  which  he  did,  and  practised  it  also. 
He  being  an  agreeable  speaker,  together  with  a  fine  appearance 
of  person,  made  him  conspicuous  and  popular  at  the  bar. 

The  courts  and  juries  at  that  day  were  not  remarkably  well 
versed  in  the  technical  learning  and  therefore  Darnielle  could 
figure  with  ease  and  safety  before  these  tribunals.  He  was 
indolent,  except  in  the  pursuit  of  the  pleasures  of  gallantry, 
and  in  this  pursuit  he  spared  neither  time  or  exertions.  When 
in  a  phrenzied  state  of  love  with  a  married  lady  of  Cahokia, 
and  she  in  the  same  delightful  state  of  madness,  they  took  a 
snap  judgment  on  the  husband  and  escaped  to  Peoria,  where 
for  many  years  they  lived  on  love.  The  husband  remained  in 
Cahokia  in  sullen  silence. 

At  one  time  he  and  his  lady  love — not,  perhaps,  the  same 
that  lived  with  him  at  Peoria — made  their  resting-place  on  the 
highest  pinnacle  of  the  Mississippi  Bluff,  northwest  of  the  peni- 
tentiary at  Alton.  Altho  Cupid  selected  this  spot  as  the  most 
delicious  place  of  love,  yet  Col.  Easton  of  St.  Louis  made  sober 
reality  out  of  it  by  purchasing  the  preemption  right  of  Dar- 
nielle to  the  land  granted  to  him  by  act  of  Congress. 

Darnielle  became  acquainted  with  the  land-titles  in  Illinois 
and  made  a  commerce  in  land.  He  never  was  wealthy;  this 
was  not  his  ambition.  He  indulged  in  the  land-trade  more  for 


occupation  than  for  profit.  He  never  married  according  to  the 
laws  of  the  country,  but  to  all  appearances,  he  was  never  with- 
out a  wife  or  wives.  It  was  also  rumored  that  he  left  a  married 
wife  in  Maryland  who  was  an  obstacle  to  a  second  marriage  in 
this  country. 

Darnielle  had  no  malice  or  bitterness  in  his  composition,  but 
seemed  to  consider  his  summum  bonum  to  consist  in  an  easy, 
luxurious  life:  He  was  moral  and  correct  in  his  deportment, 
except  as  above  referred  to. 

Darnielle  never  indulged  in  drinking  or  gaming,  but  fre- 
quently slept  all  day  and  made  the  evenings  extend  all  night, 
in  the  sight  and  hearing  of  his  terrestial  angel.  At  one  time, 
while  in  the  zenith  of  his  glory,  he  was  the  beau  ideal  of  Caho- 
kia.  His  talents,  his  gay  and  graceful  manners,  together  with 
his  penchant  for  this  sort  of  life,  authorized  him  to  some  extent 
to  be  styled  the  Lord  Chesterfield  of  Cahokia;  but  in  practice 
he  was  more  the  Earl  of  Rochester  than  Chesterfield. 

While  Darnielle  retained  his  youthful  vigor,  this  life  passed 
off  very  well;  but  when  old  age  crept  on  him,  his  former  pur- 
suits were  abandoned  from  necessity  and  he  remained  an  old 
man  without  sincere  friends  or  means  for  support.  He  taught 
school  in  the  western  part  of  Kentucky,  where  he  died,  rather 
humbled  and  neglected,  in  1830,  aged  sixty  years. 

If  Darnielle  had  abandoned  this  one  failing,  the  excess  of 
gallantry,  he  would  have  enjoyed  the  character  of  one  of  the 
most  honorable  and  respectable  gentlemen  in  Illinois. 

In  1793,  John  Hays  emigrated  to  Cahokia  and  remained 
there  and  in  the  vicinity  during  life.  He  was  born  in  the  city 
of  New  York  in  1770,  and  when  quite  a  youth,  entered  the 
Indian  trade  in  the  Northwest.  He  was  a  clerk  to  a  wealthy 
house  in  Canada  and  was  sent  first  to  Mackinac  and  afterward 
toward  the  Lake  of  the  Woods  and  the  sources  of  the  Missis- 
sippi. It  was  toward  the  headwaters  of  Red  River,  of  Selkirk's 
Settlement,  that  he  and  two  Canadians  were  caught  out  in  a 
snow-storm  in  the  prairie,  and  were  compelled  to  lie  under  the 
snow  for  three  days  and  nights,  during  the  storm.  They  had  a 
scanty  supply  of  dried  meat  to  eat  and  thin  blankets  to  cover 
them.  The  storm  raged  with  such  violence  that  they  were  not 
able  to  travel  in  the  open  prairie  and  were  forced  to  remain 


under  the  snow  to  preserve  their  lives.  It  snowed  in  the  time 
to  a  considerable  depth.  No  one  who  has  not  experienced  the 
hardships  in  the  Indian  trade  of  the  Northwest  can  realize  it. 
The  want  of  water  under  the  snow  was  that  which  incommoded 
them  most. 

He  returned  safe  from  this  storm,  and  afterward  he  made 
arrangements  with  Messrs.  Todd  &  Hays  who  had  formed  an 
extensive  commercial  partnership,  to  act  as  the  agent  and  clerk 
2-  \  )  in  their  business.  He  settled  in  Cahokia,  in  the  employ  of  the 
company  of  Todd  &  Hay^i  But  Todd  dying  and  the  com- 
pany dissolving,  forced  Hays  out  again  on  his  own  resources. 
He  turned  his  attention,  as  many  others  did,  to  the  Indian 
trade.  At  times  he  also  kept  a  small  assortment  of  goods  in 
Cahokia.  His  boats,  either  with  himself  or  agent,  generally 
made  a  voyage  once  a  year  to  Prairie  du  Chien  with  articles 
for  the  Indian  trade,  and  returned  sometimes  the  same  fall  and 
sometimes  in  the  spring.  With  a  due  regard  to  economy  he 
made  money  in  this  commerce. 

He  married  a  lady  in  Vincennes  of  excellent  family  and  what 
is  still  better,  of  sound,  good  sense.  They  lived  together  in 
Cahokia  and  raised  a  respectable  family.  He  turned  his  atten- 
tion to  agriculture.  He  purchased  land  in  the  common-field  of 
Cahokia  and  cultivated  it  to  some  considerable  advantage.  He 
managed  his  farm  with  good-sense  and  economy,  as  he  did  all 
his  other  business. 

He  held  the  office  of  postmaster  in  Cahokia  so  long  that 
"the  memory  of  man"  scarcely  "runneth  to  the  contrary." 
This  was  no  profit  to  him,  but  he  held  the  office  for  the  accom- 
modation of  his  Creole  neighbors,  whose  acquaintance  with 
school-houses  was  extremely  limited.  He  was  appointed  to 
the  office  of  sheriff  of  St.  Clair  County  by  Gov.  St.  Clair  in 
1798,  and  he  continued  to  exercise  the  duties  of  this  office 
down  to  1818,  when  the  State  government  was  organized.  I 
presume  this  was  the  longest  term  of  office  ever  held  in  Illinois. 
It  is  the  strongest  evidence  of  the  punctuality  and  honesty  of 
the  incumbent.  Rotation  in  office  was  not  then  practised. 

In  1822,  he  was  appointed  Indian  agent  of  the  Pottawato- 
mies  and  Miamis  at  Fort  Wayne,  in  the  northeast  section  of 
the  State  of  Indiana.  He  remained  in  this  office  for  several 


years  and  received  a  handsome  annual  salary.  He  returned 
home  to  Cahokia  and  enjoyed  his  old  age  in  peace  and  happi- 
ness with  his  family  and  friends.  During  a  long  life  of  industry 
and  economy,  he  acquired  a  handsome  property,  and  was  in  his 
advanced  years  very  comfortably  situated,  having  all  the  com- 
forts of  life  that  render  the  human  family  happy.  He  died  in 
old  age,  much  regretted  by  his  family  and  friends. 

Mr.  Hays  possessed  a  moral  and  honest  character;  his  morality 
throughout  life  was  very  exemplary.  He  was  not  a  member  of 
any  Christian  church,  but  observed  the  precepts  contained  in 
the  word  with  due  respect  and  devotion.  At  his  death  his 
fortune  descended  to  three  daughters,  his  only  children. 

He  possessed  a  common-English  education  and  spoke  French 
fluently,  and  enjoyed  a  very  respectable  character;  his  memory 
is  well  entitled  to  the  respect  of  posterity. 

Another  personage  of  considerable  celebrity,  John  Hay, 
whose  memory  is  much  esteemed  by  his  friends  and  numerous 
acquaintances,  settled  in  Cahokia  in  1793.  This  pioneer  was 
born  in  Detroit,  on  May  8,  1769.  John  Hay,  his  father,  was 
a  native  of  Chester  County,  Penn.,  and  was  the  last  British 
governor  of  Upper  Canada.  The  mother  of  Mr.  Hay  was  a 
French  lady,  a  native  of  Detroit,  ten  years  younger  than  her 
husband,  the  governor  of  Upper  Canada. 

The  subject  of  this  brief  sketch,  when  quite  young,  was  sent 
to  college  at  the  Three  Rivers,  in  Canada,  and  graduated  with 
the  common  honors  of  the  institution,  receiving  a  classic  educa- 
tion. Particular  attention  was  paid  by  him  to  the  languages 
taught  at  that  day — Latin,  French,  and  English.  His  mother- 
tongue  was  French,  but  he  spoke  English  without  any  French 
accent.  The  high  standing  of  his  family  in  Canada  and  the 
amiable  and  kind  heart  of  himself  attracted  the  attention  of 
the  most  respectable  inhabitants  of  the  province. 

Lady  Hamilton,  whose  husband  was  the  highest  officer  in 
Canada,  wrote  to  Mr.  Hay,  when  he  was  at  Three-Rivers  col- 
lege, the  following  letter: 

"QUEBEC,  March  i6th,  1785. 

"Sir: — Your  letter  of  the  nth  inst.  persuades  me  that  you 
are  diligent  and  desirous  of  improving  yourself.     I  have,  there- 
fore, for  your  father's  satisfaction,  enclosed  your  letter  to  him. 


"  When  you  next  favor  me  with  a  letter,  let  me  know  to  what 
particular  profession  your  disposition  leads,  and  not  only  con- 
sult your  inclination  in  a  point  so  essential  to  your  future  hap- 
piness and  credit,  but  take  the  opinion  of  some  friend  as  to- 
the  talents  nature  may  have  supplied  you  with  for  making  your 
way  thro  the  world.  I  shall  be  happy  to  serve  you,  on  occa- 
sion, should  it  happen  to  be  in  my  power,  and  am,  sir,  your 
very  obedient  and  humble  servant, 


"Mr.  JOHN  HAY." 

This  short  letter  of  Lady  Hamilton  shows  her  kind  heart — 
her  interest  for  Mr.  Hay  and  also  her  good-sense. 

The  British  government  held  possession  of  Detroit  and  other 
posts  on  the  lakes  long  after  the  treaty  of  peace  in  1783,  and 
the  father  of  Mr.  Hay  continued  to  be  the  governor  of  Upper 
Canada  until  his  death,  in  1785.  Mr.  Hay  was  only  seventeen 
years  old  at  the  death  of  his  father  and  thereby  was  turned  out 
into  the  world  on  his  own  resources.  His  friends  procured  him 
a  situation  as  a  clerk  in  a  wealthy  commercial  house  in  Mon- 
treal. He  remained  a  few  years  at  the  merchants'  desk  and 
kept  the  books  under  the  eye  of  a  lank,  lean,  hungry-looking 
Scotchman.  This  nation,  the  Scotch,  engrossed  to  a  great 
degree  the  Northwest  fur-trade  in  olden  times,  and  they  exer- 
cised that  talent  of  cool,  calculating  shrewdness  for  money- 
making,  for  which  they  are  so  celebrated  to  great  advantage. 
These  Scotch  traders  have  made  Montreal  a  very  wealthy  city. 

Mr.  Hay  was  fitted  out  with  "an  equipment,"  as  it  was  called, 
and  started  for  the  extreme  Northwest.  An  equipment  among 
the  Northwest  traders  means  an  assortment  of  goods  for  the 
Indian  trade.  It  comprises  a  proportion  of  the  several-  articles 
sold  to  the  Indians — guns,  blankets,  strouding,  flints,  powder, 
bullets,  knives,  paints,  etc.  He  embarked  in  a  bark-canoe  with 
several  light-hearted,  singing  Canadians,  for  the  Assinnaboin 
country,  which  is  near  the  base  of  the  Rocky  Mountains,  in 
latitude  about  45  degrees  north.  The  Northwest  Company  at 
that  day  had  the  entire  trade  and  control  of  the  country. 

When  Mr.  Hay  got  out  into  the  wintering-ground  and  erected 
his  quarters  for  winter,  he  forgot  to  some  extent  the  sage  coun- 
sels of  his  Scotch*  friends  in  Montreal  in  relation  to  prudence. 


economy,  and  the  profit  on  the  stock,  which  profit,  in  their  eyes, 
was  the  ne  plus  ultra  of  all  human  aspirations. 

Mr.  Hay  was  then  young  and  full  of  vigor,  and  with  the 
clerks  in  the  same  region  were  other  young  men  of  the  same 
character;  so  that  these  young  folks  forgot  the  Scotch  lessons 
on  economy  they  had  so  plentifully  received  before  they  left 
the  counting-desks  in  Montreal.  Gallantry  in  any  country,  even 
in  the  Northwest,  is  attended  with  both  loss  of  time  and  money. 

Mr.  Hay  did  not  make  a  fortune  on  his  outfit,  but  he  saw 
the  world  even  if  it  were  in  the  Northwest.  In  that  region  he 
formed  an  acquaintance  with  a  Mr.  Todd,  a  merchant  of  con- 
siderable celebrity.  This  acquaintance  ripened  into  friendship 
and  a  commercial  partnership.  They  determined  to  establish 
their  main  store  in  Cahokia  and  send  out  in  boats  or  otherwise 
goods  into  the  Indian  country. 

Mr.  Hay  started  to  the  Illinois  from  the  wintering -ground 
with  only  one  Indian.  They  traversed  the  country  in  a  southeast 
direction  to  reach  the  sources  of  the  St.  Peter's  River,  and  after 
much  difficulty  they  found  the  St.  Peter's,  which  they  descended 
and  the  Mississippi  until  they  arrived  at  Prairie  du  Chien,  where 
the  Indian  was  dismissed  and  Mr.  Hay  came  to  Cahokia  in 
1793,  as  heretofore  stated. 

He  and  Todd  commenced  business  with  fair  prospects  of 
success,  when  Todd  had  business  at  New  Orleans  and  while 
there  he  died.  His  death  deranged  all  the  business  of  the 
partnership  and  Mr.  Hay  never  after  that  attempted  merchan- 
dising on  a  large  scale. 

He  had  by  this  time  seen  some  of  the  world  and  came  to  the 
conclusion  that  a  wandering  life  was  not  the  most  happy,  and 
settled  himself  down  in  Cahokia  for  life.  He  became  acquainted 
with  an  amiable  and  beautiful  young  Creole,  born  in  Cahokia, 
Miss  Margaret  Poupart,  and  in  1797,  married  her.  For  several 
years  after  he  settled  in  Cahokia  he  was  doing  a  small  business 
and  settling  up  the  concern  of  Todd  &  Hay.  He  purchased 
a  house  and  lot  in  the  village  of  Cahokia  and  commenced 
housekeeping,  and  now  depended  on  his  talents  and  exertions 
for  a  living.  Altho  his  family  and  relations  were  wealthy  and 
respectable  in  Canada,  yet  he  depended  on  his  own  labor  and 
industry  for  support  rather  than  to  resort  to  his  friends. 


He  wrote  and  did  business  for  the  merchants  of  St.  Louis,  in 
Upper  Louisiana,  and  the  American  side  also,  for  support.  But 
his  abilities  to  serve  the  people  in  office  were  made  manifest, 
and  Gov.  St.  Clair  of  the  Northwest  Territory,  on  February  15, 
1799,  bestowed  on  him  four  several  offices:  the  clerk  of  the 
court  of  quarter-sessions,  clerk  of  the  court  of  common-pleas, 
clerk  of  the  orphans'  court,  and  treasurer  of  the  county  of 
St.  Clair.  These  commissions  were  dated  at  Cincinnati  and 
signed  by  the  governor  and  his  secretary,  William  Henry  Har- 

By  his  proper  and  honest  deportment  and  his  kindness  and 
affiability,  he  continued  in  office  and  in  several  at  a  time,  from 
the  above  date  to  the  hour  of  his  death.  He  has  been,  almost 
all  the  time,  a  notary  public  and  justice-of-the-peace,  and  was 
often  judge  of  probate  and  for  a  series  of  years,  as  the  records 
will  testify,  was  the  recorder  of  land-titles  in  St.  Clair  County. 

The  commissioners  at  Kaskaskia  to  adjust  land-titles,  having 
the  utmost  confidence  in  his  honesty  and  integrity,  entrusted 
him  to  take  depositions  in  support  of  land-claims  in  the  Kas- 
kaskia district.  This  was  a  very  delicate  trust,  and  he  was 
found,  as  in  all  other  situations,  worthy  of  that  confidence. 

All  the  administration  of  the  governments,  commencing  with 
Gov.  St.  Clair  in  1799,  down  thro  all  the  territorial  and  State 
governments,  to  his  death,  have  placed  confidence  in  him  and 
have  given  him  office.  It  is  not  common  that  a  man  can  retain 
as  many  offices  as  he  did  at  the  same  time  and  enjoy  them  for 
almost  half-a-century  without  the  people  losing  confidence  in 
the  incumbent.  It  is  evidence  of  his  accommodating  disposi- 
tion and  his  honesty  and  capacity  in  the  performance  of  the 
duties  of  these  offices. 

For  many  years  he  filled  the  office  of  judge  of  probate  of 
St.  Clair  County.  This  office  is  an  important  one.  The  duties 
involved  very  often  the  most  abstruse  principles  of  the  law; 
but  he  performed  them  and  the  duties  of  the  various  others  to 
the  entire  satisfaction  of  the  public. 

Out  of  all  these  offices  he  made  a  bare  living.  He  had  a 
very  large  family  and  raised  them  with  great  tenderness  and 
affection;  so  that  he  expended  much  of  his  income  to  raise  and 
educate  them,  and  h.e  was  so  kind  and  indulgent  to  his  children 


that  he  could  scarcely  deny  them  anything  they  asked,  if  it 
were  necessary  or  not.  He  never  was  wealthy  but  always 
enjoyed  a  full  and  plentiful  competency.  He  had  not  the  least 
talent  for  speculation,  altho  the  whole  country,  almost,  were 
engaged  in  it.  He  never  bought  or  sold  any  land,  as  most  of 
the  other  gentry  of  Cahokia  did,  and  his  own  right  to  the  land 
the  government  gave  him,  he  sold  at  a  very  reduced  price.  He 
lived  in  peace  and  happiness  in  Cahokia  among  his  French 
friends  until  the  county-seat  of  St.  Clair  County  was  moved 
from  Cahokia,  in  1814,  to  Belleville.  This  was  a  terrible  shock 
to  the  whole  family. 

The  French,  by  living  together  many  ages,  begin  to  think 
they  could  not  exist  out  of  a  French  village.  Their  social  inter- 
course are  so  interwoven  in  their  composition  that  to  separate 
one  from  another  are  looked  upon  with  a  kind  of  horror.  Thus 
it  was  with  Mr.  Hay  and  family.  They  were  supported  so  long 
on  the  proceeds  of  these  offices  that  they  became  a  kind  of 
second-nature  to  them,  and  to  leave  Cahokia,  the  church,  and 
the  ballroom  was  quite  impossible. 

The  offices  had.  to  be  kept  in  Belleville  and  Mr.  Hay  attended 
to  them  for  many  years  in  this  place  and  saw  his  family  at  the 
end  of  each  week.  At  last  this  was  found  to  be  disagreeable 
and  he  sold  out  in  Cahokia  and  located  permanently  in  Belle- 

In  early  times,  a  majority  of  the  country  were  French  inhabi- 
tants, and  he  spoke  and  wrote  the  French  language  as  well  as 
the  English;  so  that  he  was  well  qualified  to  accommodate  each 
class  of  people  in  performing  his  public  duties. 

In  1804,  when  Gen.  Harrison  took  possession  of  Louisiana, 
it  was  becoming  the  occasion  to  make  a  demonstration  of  our 
good  feeling  to  our  newly-acquired  citizens,  and  that  the  people 
of  Cahokia  and  St.  Clair  County  should  attend  at  St.  Louis  on 
the  occasion.  With  heart  and  hand,  he  headed  the  cavalcade 
and  made  a  grand  display  in  the  ceremony  of  taking  possession 
of  the  country. 

At  the  treaty  with  the  Indians,  in  1815,  at  Portage  de  Sioux 
in  Missouri,  he  was  employed  as  interpreter  and  assistant-secre- 
tary to  the  board.  He  was  very  expert  with  the  pen  and  was 
quite  serviceable  on  such  occasions.  He  had  many  peculiari- 


ties  and  became  quite  systematic.  For  many  years  he  went  to 
St.  Louis,  Missouri,  at  a  stated  time  in  the  fall  and  remained 
there  for  a  week.  In  this  time  he  purchased  the  stationery  for 
his  office  and  other  articles  and  visited  his  friends.  He  went 
and  returned  to  the  hour;  and  toward  the  close  of  his  life,  no 
matter  what  was  on  hand,  if  the  weather  permitted,  he  an. I  his 
old  lady  took  an  evening  walk.  He  and  his  wife  lived  together 
for  almost  half-a-century,  and  very  few  ever  enjoyed  more  of 
domestic  happiness  than  they  did.  Their  marriage  was  based 
on  proper  principles  and  their  union  was  sincere.  It  was 
founded  on  mutual  and  ardent  affections. 

At  mature  age,  he  read,  reflected,  and  became  a  Catholic. 
He  was  raised  to  respect  the  church  of  England  more  than  any 
other,  and  was,  thro  the  early  part  of  his  life,  inclined  to  that 
church;  but  he  changed  his  notions  and  became  zealous  and 
enthusiastic  in  the  faith  of  the  Romish  church.  He  often  be- 
came excited  in  conversation  on  religious  subjects  and  frequently 
used  words  in  the  excitement  of  the  moment,  and  forgot  their 
unfitness  in  such  cases.  These  words  were  similar  to  those 
Uncle  Tobey  used  when  his  feelings  were  excited  to  the  highest 
pitch  at  the  sight  of  his  friend  about  to  expire  and  said:  "By 

G ,  he  shan't  die."  The  angel  above  did  not  record  it 

against  Uncle  Toby,  nor  will  the  angel  record  the  utterance  of 
these  words  against  Mr.  Hay. 

Morality,  virtue,  and  honesty  governed  him,  and  he  observed 
the  injunctions  imposed  on  him  by  these  great  guides  to  happi- 
ness with  scrupulous  exactness.  It  was  in  his  last  sickness  that 
he  displayed  the  calm  philosopher  and  the  Christian  hero.  Age 
had  naturally  destroyed  in  him  much  of  the  frailties  of  human 
nature.  The  passions  had  ceased  to  bewilder  his  calm  reflection. 

The  mind  will  turn  back  on  the  actions  of  life,  and  if  they 
are  good  an  approving  conscience  makes  a  kind  of  "  heaven  on 
earth  below."  This  seemed  to  be  the  case  of  our  friend.  It 
appeared  to  be  his  transit  from  a  sinful  mortality  to  a  happy 
immortality.  Death  reached  him  in  that  state  of  existence 
when  its  terrors  were  not  regarded  by  him.  He  was  anxious 
and  pleased  to  realize  that  "  undiscovered  country  from  whose 
bourn  no  traveler  returns."  He  died  in  Belleville  in  1843,  aged 
seventy-four  years.  His  friends  and  the  public  felt  real  sorrow 


and  grief  for  his  death.  When  he  died  he  had  no  enemies,  but 
a  host  of  friends  who  yet  converse  of  him  with  tender  regard. 
Their  hearts  and  affections  are  with  him  in  the  tomb. 

In  the  first  settlement  of  the  country,  wild  animals  were  very 
plenty,  which  induced  almost  the  whole  community  to  become 
hunters.  The  range  was  so  good  and  the  vegetation  in  summer 
grew  so  luxuriant  that  a  vast  number  of  these  wild  animals 
were  sustained  in  Illinois. 

The  vegetation — particularly  the  grass — grew  much  stronger 
and  higher  fifty  years  ago  than  it  does  at  this  time.  Corn  does 
not  grow  as  large  or  yield  as  much  per  acre  as  it  did  in  these 
•olden  times.  This  is  the  opinion  of  almost  all  the  pioneers  : 
that  the  vegetation  is  not  so  luxuriant  and  stout  as  in  former 
days.  This  is  a  fact  and  to  account  for  it  would  be  difficult. 
If  a  tract  of  land  were  fenced  and  thereby  the  tame  animals 
prevented  from  pasturing  on  it,  yet  it  is  doubtful  if  the  earth 
would  produce  as  it  did  in  former  days. 

Fifty  years  ago  the  fire  in  a  dry  prairie  with  a  strong  wind 
was  grand  and  rather  terrific.  In  the  fall  it  is  often  dry  for 
months  together ;  so  that  the  prairies  were  very  dry  toward 
Christmas  and  the  Indians  and  others  in  hunting  universally 
set  them  on  fire.  Sometimes  the  hunters  made  what  they 
called  ring-fires.  They  set  fire  to  the  grass  and  leaves  around 
a  considerable  tract  of  country  so  as  to  enclose  a  number  of 
•deer  and  other  animals.  The  fire,  as  it  burns,  contracts;  so  the 
game  is  huddled  up  in  the  centre  and  killed,  more  or  less. 
These  dry  prairies  on  fire  with  a  high  wind  were  dangerous  to 
man  as  well  as  beast.  Often  deer,  raccoons,  and  the  smaller 
animals  were  destroyed  by  the  fire.  It  was  also  "  death  on  the 
snakes."  At  many  times  a  prairie  miles  long  and  on  fire  with 
a  strong  wind  was  in  a  dense  flame  for  hundreds  of  yards  wide 
at  the  same  time.  This  flame  often  arose  many  feet  high  and 
would  destroy  any  animal,  man,  or  other  that  would  be  caught 
in  it.  The  old  pioneers  will  recognize  the  truth  of  this  descrip- 
tion of  the  prairies  on  fire. 

It  was  this  excessively  thick  and  strong  vegetation,  burning 
in  the  fall,  that  caused  the  prairies.  It  is  generally  the  case 
that  the  prairies  are  the  most  fertile  soil.  This  caused  the 
strongest  fire  which  destroyed  the  timber.  In  the  poor  soil, 


where  the  vegetation  did  not  grow  rank,  these  fires  did  not 
destroy  the  timber,  and  about  the  water  courses  timber  grew 
without  the  disturbance  of  the  fire.  The  proof  of  the  above  is 
that  the  prairies,  when  the  fire  is  kept  out  of  them,  soon  grow 
up  with  trees.  Illinois  will  have  in  twenty  years  more  timber 
in  it  than  there  is  at  present. 

While  the  prairie  is  in  a  general  conflagration,  a  terrible  roar- 
ing, something  similar  to  thunder,  is  heard.  With  this  terrific 
noise  and  the  flames  so  high,  broad,  and  dense,  a  terror  is  pro- 
duced easier  imagined  than  described. 

Two  men  were  burnt  to  death  in  the  American  Bottom  by 
the  prairie  burning,  a  few  miles  southeast  of  the  ferry  opposite 
St.  Louis.  These  unfortunate  men  took  refuge  under  their  cart, 
but  were,  nevertheless,  destroyed. 

In  the  first  settlement  of  the  country,  hundreds  of  acres  of 
timber,  in  some  seasons,  were  all  killed  at  the  same  time  by 
fire.  These  trees  would  fall  down — rot  or  burn — and  a  prairie 
would  soon  be  formed.  At  that  time  the  small  undergrowth 
was  burnt  out  and  in  many  places  nothing  but  the  large  trees 
were  standing.  In  process  of  time  these  trees  would  also  dis- 
appear and  a  prairie  be  formed  where  they  grew. 

Not  only  was  the  summer  range  good  but  the  winter  also. 
All  along  the  Ohio  River  and  up  the  Mississippi  to  Muddy 
River  and  sometimes  higher,  the  cane  grew  so  thick  and  strong 
that  man  or  beast  could  scarcely  penetrate  it.  These  were 
called  brakes  and  were  so  thick  and  matted  together  that  deer, 
buffaloes,  horses,  and  other  animals  were  completely  housed  and 
sheltered  from  the  storms.  Hunters  say  they  have  often  heard 
buffaloes  in  the  winter  bellowing  in  these  canebrakes  as  if  it 
were  summer  in  the  prairies. 

Above  the  cane  region  the  rushes  grew  on  the  sandy  margins 
of  the  Mississippi  and  on  sandy  islands,  strong  and  thick.  They 
are  more  nutritious  and  better  on  which  to  winter  animals  than 
cane.  Horses,  cattle,  deer,  buffaloes,  etc.,  will  keep  as  fat  on 
the  rushes  as  if  they  were  put  in  a  cornfield  in  the  fall. 

In  the  fall  of  1807,  my  father  put  a  large  gang  of  horses  on 
Gaborit  Island,  in  the  Mississippi  River  above  St.  Louis,  and 
they  wintered  well. 

The   region   of   country  adjacent   to   the   Illinois    River,  as 


Father  Marquette  observed,  produced  the  strongest  vegetation 
in  olden  times  of  any  other  section  of  Illinois,  and  the  river 
and  the  swamps  adjacent  to  it  afforded  the  natives  more  sup- 
port than  any  other  part  of  the  West.  The  fowls,  in  the  spring 
and  fall  in  their  migrations,  stopped  here  and  the  Indians  killed 
many  of  them.  Also  a  great  number  of  musk-rats  were  caught 
in  the  lakes  near  the  river,  and  it  was  conceded  by  all  that  no 
river  in  America  produced  as  many  fresh-water  fish  as  the  Illi- 
nois did.  This  great  supply  of  provisions  for  the  Indians 
enabled  more  of  them  to  subsist  in  this  section  of  country  than 
in  any 'other  in  the  West.  The  Indian  traders  visited  this  river 
in  great  numbers  and  many  made  fortunes  by  the  traffic  with 
the  natives. 

Under  these  circumstances,  Peoria  was,  perhaps,  the  greatest 
trading-post  in  the  Mississippi  Valley.  At  Mackinac  more 
wealth  was  collected  on  its  transit  there  than  at  any  other 
point.  The  traders  of  the  North  met  the  merchants  from 
Canada  at  this  post  and  exchanged  the  peltries,  furs,  etc.,  they 
collected  from  the  Indians  either  to  pay  old  debts  or  for  Indian 
goods.  At  some  seasons  of  the  year  Mackinac  was  a  very  im- 
portant and  interesting  place;  but  when  the  traders  and  Indians 
disappeared  the  village  assumed  its  former  size  and  inefficiency. 

Prairie  du  Chien  possessed  something  of  the  character  of 
both  Peoria  and  Mackinac.  In  it  goods  were  exchanged  with 
the  traders  for  their  peltries,  etc.,  as  well  as  sold  to  the  Indians. 

At  Mackinac  and  other  points  where  the  traders,  voyagers, 
and  hordes  of  Indians  met  those  from  Canada,  a  general  jubilee 
was  instituted.  Great  and  grand  doings  of  all  sorts  of  amuse- 
ments and  pleasures  of  which  the  French  genius  and  their 
limited  means  at  that  place  permitted  were  carried  on  at  Macki- 
nac during  these  celebrated  festivals.  Men  who  had  been  in 
the  Northwest  trade  for  years,  came  to  this  post  to  meet,  per- 
haps, their  wives,  relatives,  and  friends.  Parents  came  out  from 
Canada  to  see  their  absent  sons  and  to  give  and  receive  some 
kind  civilities.  Or,  perhaps,  the  more  substantial  article,  per- 
sonal property,  was  exchanged  on  the  occasion.  Old  debts 
and  new  ones  were  attended  to. 

Many  of  the  transactions  of  mankind,  either  in  business, 
pleasure,  or  otherwise,  were  exhibited  at  these  annual  fairs  in 
olden  times. 


At  times  Mars,  the  god  of  war,  was  invoked  to  settle  some 
old  feud  or  to  gain  the  triumph  at  the  time  in  some  personal 
quarrel,  and  even  duels  were  not  neglected  at  these  gatherings. 
That  barbarous  practice  of  dueling,  which  is  the  brutal  remains 
of  the  Roman  shows  of  the  gladiators,  the  Spanish  bull-fights, 
and  the  English  boxing-matches  were  hailed  at  these  meetings 
by  the  code  of  honor  and  to  some  extent  adopted. 
•  A  duel  was  fought  between  two  Northwest  traders,  Crawford 
and  Campbell,  that  was  so  grossly  unjust  and  inhuman  and  so 
much  against  the  laws  of  both  God  and  man  that  it  had  a  ten- 
dency to  arrest  this  brutal  mode  of  settling  disputes  for  a  time. 

All  this  Northwest  trade  was  conducted  mostly  in  bark- 
canoes  and  on  the  backs  of  the  stout  and  hardy  Canadians. 
Sometimes  a  Mackinac  boat,  so  called,  and  at  rare  intervals  a 
schooner  were  employed  in  the  commerce  on  the  lakes.  No 
craft  can  equal  the  bark-canoe  for  its  cheapness  of  construction 
and  for  its  neatness  and  utility.  Its  invention  by  the  natives  is 
before  Indian  antiquities  and  used  by  them  on  the  lakes  and 
adjacent  rivers  so  long  as  they  remained  in  the  country.  The 
bark-canoe  is  made  out  of  strong,  light,  and  elastic  wood  for 
the  timbers  within  and  covered  with  strong  birch-bark,  which 
gives  the  craft  the  name  of  a  bark-canoe.  The  timbers  within 
are  strong  in  proportion  to  the  size  of  the  canoe,  and  are  tough, 
light,  and  elastic.  They  are  formed  with  great  neatness  and 
strength,  and  at  the  same  time  with  shape  to  sail  with  the  most 
facility.  They  are  very  sharp  at  the  ends  and  rounding  on  the 
bottom  ;  so  they  may  glide  thro  the  water  with  the  greater 
speed.  Pitch  is  used  on  these  canoes  to  prevent  them  from 
leaking,  and  the  voyagers  are  always  provided  with  the  means 
of  sewing  up  the  splits  and  repairing  them  in  the  shortest  pos- 
sible time.  When  the  canoe  becomes  leaky  it  is  unladen,  car- 
ried on  the  shore,  sewed  up,  and  repaired  in  a  few  hours.  These 
canoes  are  light  and  portable.  When  the  waters  of  the  lakes 
are  rough,  they  are  unloaded  and  taken  on  shore,  out  of  the 
reach  of  the  waves,  and  at  the  portages  they  are  easily  packed 
on  men's  shoulders  across  from  water  to  water.  They  are  pro- 
pelled by  the  voyagers  using  paddles  and  the  patroon  at  the 
stern  steering  it  also  with  a  paddle.  The  paddles  are  made 
nice  and  neat,  out  of  strong,  elastic  wood,  and  painted  with  all 


the  taste  and  elegance  of  a  boatman's  genius.  These  canoes 
were,  on  occasion,  greased  with  deer's  tallow  that  they  might 
sail  the  easier  and  swifter  thro  the  water. 

Races  were  common  and  wagers  made  on  them.  Boat-racing 
seems  to  be  coeval  with  boats.  It  is  a  cheering  and  interesting 
spectacle  to  see  a  crew  of  hardy,  stout  Canadians  dressed  in 
the  uniform  of  the  Northwest  voyagers,  paddling  a  bark-canoe 
under  the  excitement  of  boat -songs  and  an  animated  race. 
There  is  no  excitement  more  intense  and  acute  than  these  voy- 
agers experience  in  a  canoe-race.  They  would  freely  exchange 
their  freedom  for  life,  for  success,  and  almost  life  itself.  They 
invoke  the  Virgin  and  promise  masses  for  victory.  These  races 
are  topics  for  French  discussion  of  the  canoe -men  for  years 

The  Mackinac  boat  is  a  plain,  unpretending  vessel,  somewhat 
similar  to  our  skiffs,  but  larger  and  coarser  made.  They  are 
sharp  at  the  ends  but  flat  on  the  bottom.  They  are  not  honored 
with  a  deck,  but  a  tarpaulin  cloth  was  generally  used  to  secure 
the  merchandise  from  the  rain.  From  three  to  six  men  navi- 
gated them.  One  at  the  steering-oar  and  the  other  hands  row 
the  boat.  They  were  generally  about  thirty  feet  long  and  the 
planks  of -the  side  three  or  four  feet  high.  These  boats  were 
intended  to  be  carried  over  the  portages.  They  sustained  a 
heavy  burden  to  their  looks. 

As  to  the  schooners  used  on  the  lakes  in  French  times,  who- 
ever saw  a  fishing-schooner  on  the  shores  of  old  France  saw  a 
vessel  almost  similar  to  these  lake  schooners.  The  French  are 
a  greater  people  on  land  than  on  the  water  in  ships.  In  vessels 
below  a  schooner  the  Canadians  did  well  enough. 

These  Northwest  traders  also  used  the  most  simple  and  primi- 
tive mode  of  carrying  on  commerce,  and  that  was  by  packing 
the  articles  of  traffic  on  men's  backs.  The  packs  of  merchan- 
dise were  generally  weighed  and  the  Canadians  packed  them 
over  the  portages.  Often  they  carried  these  packs  out  many 
leagues  from  the  depots  to  the  Indian  camps  and  the  peltries 
back  again.  Very  little  horse-power  was  used  in  this  commerce. 

An  efficient  and  enterprising  colony  of  Americans  immigrated 
from  Hardy  County,  Virginia,  and  settled  at^the  New  Design, 
Illinois,  in  1797.  This  was  the  largest  and  most  flourishing 


company  of  farmers,  mechanics,  and  laborers  that  ever  came  to- 
Illinois  at  or  before  that  day. 

A  year  or  so  before  1797,  David  Badgley  and  Leonard  Car 
came  out  to  explore  the  country.  Daniel  Stookey,  Abraham 
Eyeman,  Mr.  Whetstone,  and  Abraham  Stookey  also  explored 
the  country  before  the  colony  settled  in  Illinois.  These  ex- 
plorers came  from  the  south  branch  of  Potomac,  Hardy  County, 
Virginia,  on  horseback  and  examined  the  country  thoroly. 
They  remained  in  the  country  most  of  the  summer  and  Rev. 
David  Badgley  frequently  preached.  Mr.  Stookey  and  others 
crossed  the  Mississippi  at  St.  Louis  in  1796,  and  gave  that 
French  village,  the  country  around  it,  and  the  commandant  a 
passing  notice. 

This  exploring  party  decided  on  making  Illinois  their  homes 
for  Hie.  They  returned  to  Virginia  and  reported  the  facts  of 
their  discoveries  to  their  neighbors  and  friends.  This  whole 
colony  then  mustered  up  and  commenced  a  long  and  arduous 
journey,  at  that  day,  for  the  Far- West. 

It  is  said  that  Solomon  Shook  and  Mr.  Borer  came  to  Illi- 
nois the  year  before.  This  colony,  all  numbered  and  all  told, 
amounted  to  about  one  hundred  and  fifty-four  souls.  They 
crossed  the  mountains  in  wagons,  on  pack-horses,  and  on  foot 
to  Morgantown,  on  the  Monongahela  River.  Here  they  waited 
some  time  for  their  boats  to  be  finished.  At  last,  in  May,  they 
set  sail  down  the  rivers  to  the  land  of  promise — Illinois.  After 
a  long,  tiresome,  and  exposed  voyage  down  the  rivers,  they 
landed  at  Fort  Massac,  on  the  Ohio  River.  The.  flat  boats  or 
broad  horses,  as  they  were  sometimes  called  in  derision,  were 
not  covered  and  the  families  in  them  were  exposed  to  the  in- 
clemency of  the  weather  and  the  heat  of  a  summer  sun. 

This  year,  1797,  was  uncommonly  wet  and  the  streams  be- 
tween the  and  Kaskaskia  were  all  out  of  the  banks  and 
swimming.  It  rained  almost  every  day  and  the  roads  between 
Kaskaskia  and  Massac  were  literally  covered  with  water  and 
the  mud  almost  impassable.  This  colony  fixed  up  their 
wagons,  horses,  and  all  things  for  the  New  Design,  Illinois, 
and  left  Massac.  They  were  detained  in  this  wilderness  of 
mud  and  water  for  almost  a  month — exposed  to  almost  a  ver- 
tical sun  over  their  heads  and  positive  mud  and  water  under 
their  feet. 


It  must  be  recollected  that  at  this  time  not  a  house  stood 
between  Kaskaskia  and  Massac.  They  rafted  the  creeks  and 
at  last  reached  civilization  and  contemplated  relief;'  but  wofully 
were  they  disappointed.  They  were  hailed  at  Kaskaskia  and 
the  New  Design  with  all  the  good  feelings  peculiarly  incident 
to  the  pioneers ;  but  a  tempest  of  the  most  direful  calamity 
was  gathering  to  burst  upon  their  devoted  heads.  Almost  one- 
half  of  this  cheerful  and  flourishing  colony  died  during  the  first 
summer  and  fall  of  their  arrival. 

This  mortality  is  almost  unprecedented  in  any  country  or 
under  any  circumstances.  A  most  malignant  fever  prevailed, 
which  was  supposed  to  be  contagious.  This  prevented  the 
people  from  paying  that  kind  attention  to  the  sick  which  they 
needed.  Scarcely  a  physician  could  be  procured. 

When  they  reached  the  New  Design,  they  could  not  procure 
houses  to  receive  them  and  they  were  huddled  together  to  the 
great  injury  of  their  health.  In  fact,  provisions  were  not  plenty. 
The  Indian  war  had  only  ceased  a  year  or  two  before  and  the 
inhabitants  had  not  raised  much  support  for  themselves  or  the 
immigrants.  At  any  rate,  such  was  the  mortality  that  even  the 
burying  of  the  dead  was  scarcely  attended  to. 

The  graveyard  of  1797  may  yet  be  seen  at  the  New  Design, 
which  will  cause  the  observer  to  shudder  at  the  mortality  and 
consequent  distress  at  that  day.  Scarcely  a  family  of  all  these 
immigrants  but  had  to  mourn  the  loss  of  one  or  more  of  its 
number,  and  many  of  the  families  were  almost  entirely  extinct; 
leaving,  perhaps,  a  few  helpless  children  to  grieve  over  the  loss 
of  their  parents,  brothers,  and  sisters.  At  this  time  there  were 
no  means  of  relief  for  this  distress  in  the  country,  except  kind 
and  benevolent  hearts.  The  country  was  healtny  after  this 
year  and  the  immigrants  who  were  not  swept  offs.soon  did  well. 

Scarcely  at  any  time  or  in  any  country  will  be  twimd  so  many 
moral,  honest,  and  laborious  citizens,  to  the  number  of  this  col- 
ony, as  the  immigration  from  Hardy  County  to  the  New  Design. 
The  names  of  Car,  Stookey,  Eyeman,  Shook,  Mitchell,  Clark, 
Badgley,  Teter,  Miller,  and  others  will  be  recognized  as  the 
heads  of  families  of  this  colony,  whose  descendants  at  this  day 
are  numerous  and  respectable. 

This  colony  introduced  into  the  country  an  orderly  and  moral 


influence,  which  did  great  service  to  the  previous  inhabitants. 
The  emigrants  from  Virginia  attended  strictly  and  honestly  to 
business  and  not  only  improved  the  country,  but  their  example 
also  improved  the  people.  They  were  the  first  who  raised  sheep 
to  any  number  and  manufactured  the  wool  into  clothes.  They 
turned  their  attention  to  the  culture  of  wheat  and  raised  a 
surplus  for  market.  They  also  encouraged  the  breed  of  horses 
and  cattle  and  raised  a  great  number  themselves. 

The  beneficial  influence  of  this  colony  to  improve  the  coun- 
try was  in  a  short  time  perceived  by  everyone.  The  people 
composing  it  were  not  proud  or  overbearing;  but  on  the  con- 
trary, they  were  remarkable  for  their  modest  and  amiable 
deportment;  so  that  they  taught  by  example  the  people,  who 
esteemed  and  admired  them.  This  colony  was  extremely 
moral  and  correct  and  their  descendants  to  this  day  are  noto- 
rious for  their  sober  and  orderly  conduct. 

It  was  stated  in  a  former  page  that  John  Murdoch  came  to 
the  country  with  his  father  in  1796,  and  that  his  father,  dying 
soon  after,  left  the  son  with  his  widowed  mother.  He  was  born 
in  Kentucky  in  1790.  He,  like  most  of  the  youths  at  that  day, 
acted  his  own  part  as  he  pleased,  without  the  control  of  his 
mother.  Murdoch  run  almost  wild  and  attended  very  little  at 
the  school-house.  He  received  a  very  limited  education,  but 
nature  had  bestowed  on  him  singular  parts.  He  was  in  his 
youth  an  odd  kind  of  boy — more  intellect  than  ordinary  chil- 
dren; but  always  applied  it  in  a  singular  and  quizzical  manner. 

He  was  accustomed  to  play  tricks  on  his  step-father,  Blair, 
when  he  was  very  young.  He  often  pinned  a  cloth  to  the  coat- 
tail  of  his  step-father,  and  when  the  prank  was  discovered,  he 
never  showed  the  least  emotion  or  laughed.  He  shaved  the 
hair  off  the  manes  and  tails  of  his  step-father's  horses;  so  as  to 
"have  a  joke  on  the  old  man."  As  he  grew  up,  these  tricks 
increased  on  him,  until  Blair  and  almost  all  others  were  heartily 
tired  of  him.  From  his  infancy  to  manhood,  it  cost  more  coax- 
ing, threatening,  and  labor  to  make  him  work  than  the  work 
he  ever  did  was  worth.  He  was  born  to  a  kind  of  involuntary 
hatred  to  work  or  to  do  any  business  that  was  not  of  his  own 

He  would    labor   for  days  and   weeks  to  accomplish  some 


prank:  such  as  to  carry  rails  a  half-mile  to  make  a  fence  in  the 
night  around  a  man's  door.  He  would  get  up  out  of  bed  when 
the  family  were  asleep  and  ride  miles  to  accomplish  tricks,  and 
would  be  back  in  bed  before  morning,  and  no  one  would,  per- 
haps, ever  detect  him.  But  he  obstinately  refused  to  work.  In 
a  sly  manner  at  church  he  often  put  old  decks  of  cards  in  the 
preacher's  pockets. 

He  had  not  much  friendship  for  an  old  Baptist  preacher  in 
his  neighborhood,  and  wh^n  the  old  man  was  engaged  in  the 
house  of  devotion,  Murdoch  slipped  to  the  preacher's  horse, 
which  was  hitched  in  the  brushwood,  took  the  saddle  and  bridle 
off  the  horse  and  put  them  on  a  large,  old  mulley  ox.  The 
horse  ran  home;  but  there  stood  the  old  ox,  saddled  and  bridled 
for  the  preacher  when  he  went  to  get  his  horse.  No  one  could 
scarcely  ever  detect  him  in  these  tricks. 

He  possessed  in  his  composition  not  much  malice  or  malig- 
nity; but  at  the  same  time,  a  moderate  share  only  of  the  dis- 
position that  adorns  the  human  race  was  found  in  his  character. 
He  married  and  lived  only  at  intervals  with  his  wife.  He  made 
a  sorry  husband,  as  he  did  almost  everything  else  he  attempted. 
He  entered  the  military  service  of  the  country  in  the  war  of 
1812,  and  ranged  or  staid  at  home  almost  at  his  pleasure.  The 
officers  could  not  do  much  with  him. 

At  Peoria,  in  the  fall  of  1813,  he  provided  himself  with  two 
black  bottles;  one  he  filled  with  water  and  the  other  he  left 
empty.  He  had  not  much  credit  with  the  sutlers;  but  asked 
for  a  quart  of  whisky  and  had  it  put  into  his  empty  bottle. 
Murdoch  was  slow,  orderly,  and  circumspect  in  putting  his 
whisky  under  his  hunting-shirt.  He  put  the  bottle  containing 
the  water  where  the  sutler  first  saw  him  put  the  whisky-bottle. 
In  a  grave,  serious  manner  he  observed  to  the  sutler  that  he 
had  no  money,  as  he  was  out  from  home,  and  he  must  charge 
him  with  it.  The  sutler  refused  and  then  Murdoch  offered  him 
the  bottle  containing  the  water  and  said,  he  must  put  the  liquor 
back  again  into  the  barrel.  The  grocer  did  so  and  put  the 
neck  of  the  water-bottle  into  the  bung-hole  of  the  barrel  and 
let  the  water  pour  in.  Thus  it  was  that  Murdoch  exchanged  a 
bottle  of  water  for  a  bottle  of  whisky. 

He  played  another  trick  in  the  present  county  of  Madison, 


on  a  landlord  near  Rattan's  Prairie,  in  the  war  of  1812.  He 
and  several  other  jovial  fellows  were  in  a  drinking  frolic  and 
had  not  the  means  to  obtain  as  much  liquor  as  they  wanted. 
Murdoch  had  but  one  bit  (twelve  and  a-half  cents)  and  gave  it 
for  a  half-pint  of  whisky.  He  watched  where  the  landlord  put 
the  bit  and  saw  him  place  it  into  a  teacup  which  stood  high  up 
on  a  shelf.  The  master  of  the  house  went  about  his  business 
out  of  doors,  and  when  he  was  absent,  Murdoch  took  the  same 
bit  out  of  the  teacup  and  called  foi»  another  half-pint  of  liquor. 
The  bit  was  again  put  into  the  same  cup  and  the  same  process 
was  carried  on  until  evening,  when  the  landlord  supposed  he 
had  a  cup  almost  full  of  bits;  when  lo !  and  behold!  he  had 
barely  one  bit  in  the  cup  and  his  company,  Murdoch  and  others, 
were  in  high  glee. 

It  was  the  law  that  the  United-States  Rangers  should  find 
themselves  provisions,  and  they  were  permitted  to  go  home,  fix 
up,  and  return  with  the  necessary  supplies.  Murdoch  had  been 
at  home  and  on  his  return  to  Camp  Russell,  near  Edwardsville, 
he  caught  a  ground-hog  and  put  it  alive  in  his  saddle-bags. 
When  he  got  off  his  horse,  which  was  hitched  near  the  fort,  he 
whispered  that  " something  was  in  his  saddle-bags;"  making  the 
man  believe  that  it  was  a  bottle  of  whisky  in  them.  His  con- 
fiding friend,  having  more  taste  for  liquor  than  discretion,  slyly 
alone  went  to  Murdoch's  horse  and  thrust  his  hand  into  the 
saddle-bags  for  the  whisky;  but  the  moment  he  put  his  hand 
in,  the  ground-hog  bit  him. 

This  ranger  that  got  bit  thought  he  would  bite  someone  else. 
He  said  nothing  about  the  ground-hog  biting  him;  but  told 
another  ranger,  in  under  tone,  that  he  got  a  first-rate  dram  out 
of  Murdoch's  saddle-bags.  The  man  put  his  hand  into  the 
saddle-bags  and  the  animal  caught  his  hand  and  held  on;  so 
the  second  bit  man  roared  out  for  help  to  get  his  hand  out  of 
the  ground-hog's  mouth. 

Such  transactions  gave  Murdoch  great  pleasure  altho  he  al- 
ways appeared  serious  and  scarcely  ever  laughed  or  made  any 
outward  demonstrations  of  joy  or  pleasure  on  their  success. 

This  singular  and  curious  character  was  rather  silent  in  com- 
pany and  never  indulged  in  loud  or  boisterous  conversation. 
His  remarks,  like  his  pranks,  were  severe  and  satirical.  The 


same  talent  that  caused  him  to  perform  these  tricks  also  enabled 
him  to  make  similar  remarks.  His  person  was  of  the,  ordinary 
height  and  erect;  but  spare  and  emaciated  almost  to  a  skeleton. 
He  seemed  to  possess  no  great  passions  or  impulses;  but  his 
energies  of  mind  w^re  inclined  to  such  feats  as  above. 

The  pranks  of  his  life  would  fill  a  volume.  His  mind  pos- 
sessed some  strength  in  its  peculiar  manner.  It  was  active, 
elastic,  and  sprightly ;  but  was  deficient  in  solid,  sober  judg- 
ment. It  ranged  in  the  lower  regions  of  poetry,  but  never 
reached  the  platform  of  common-sense.  If  he  had  been  raised 
and  educated  under  different  circumstances,  he  would  have 
been  a  character  of  some  celebrity.  His  natural  gifts,  without 
improvement,  were  an  injury  to  him.  By  a  proper  education, 
these  parts  would  make  him  rather  a  shining  and  brilliant  char- 
acter; but  not  a  solid  or  judicious  one.  After  the  close  of  the  f\JJL 
war  of  1812,  he  enlisted  in  the  regular  army  and  died. 

For  years  after  the  peace  was  established  with  the  Indians, 
in  1795,  many  cases  of  hardship  and  suffering  were  the  conse- 
quences of  that  war. 

It  will  be  recollected  that  James  Gilham,  Sr.,  emigrated  to 
Illinois  at  an  early  day,  and  at  a  still  earlier  one,  he  emigrated 
from  South  Carolina  and  settled  on  the  frontiers  of  Kentucky. 
In  1790,  he  had  selected  himself  a  residence  in  Kentucky  and 
•was  in  the  field  plowing  his  corn,  with  one  of  his  sons,  Isaac, 
then  a  small  boy.  The  boy  was  with  his  father,  clearing  the 
young  corn  from  the  clods  and  sods  which  the  plow  might 
throw  on  it,  while  the  rest  of  the  family  were  in  the  house. 
Several  Kickapoo  warriors  went  to  the  house  and  captured 
Gilham's  whole  family  that  were  not  with  him  in  the  field. 
The  field  was  some  distance  from  the  house  and  he  did  not 
immediately  discover  the  disaster.  These  savages  captured  his 
wife,  one  girl,  and  two  sons. 

What  horrid  feelings  Gilham  experienced  when  he  returned 
from  his  work  as  he  supposed  to  his  family  and  dinner;  but  dis- 
covered his  house  sacked  by  the  Indians,  his  family  captured 
and  either  killed  or  doomed  to  savage  bondage!  His  grief  and 
anguish  must  have  been  excessive;  but 

"  Man  was  made  to  mourn." 

The  Indians  made  the  family,  by  signs,  remain  quiet;  so  as 


not  to  alarm  Gilham  in  the  field.  They  made  quick  work  of 
it  and  started  for  the  Kickapoo  town,  toward  the  sources  of  the 
Sangamon  River,  Illinois.  They  cut  open  the  bed-ticks  and 
took  such  articles  out  of  the  house  as  they  could  carry  away 
on  their  backs.  They  were  afraid  to  take  any  horses,  lest  the 
whites  would  follow  their  trail  and  destroy  them. 

The  country  where  Gilham  resided  was  thinly  settled,  and 
before  he  could  get  a  party  to  pursue  the  Indians,  they  escaped. 
Mrs.  Gilham  was  so  terrified  that  she  was  almost  bereaved  of 
her  mind. 

After  the  Indians  had  taken  the  house  and  the  family,  the 
first  thing  she  recollected  was  her  son  Samuel,  a  small  boy,  say- 
ing:  "Mamma,  we're  all  prisoners."  Gilham  and  neighbors 
followed  the  Indian  trail  a  considerable  distance;  but  could  not 
overtake  them.  He,  on  his  return,  suffered  misery  and  mental 
anguish  that  is  indescribable.  Yet  hope  lingered  with  him  that 
as  the  Indians  had  not  killed  his  people,  he  would  again  recover 
them.  Hope  never  entirely  abandons  anyone  in  almost  any 

The  Indians  steered  clear  of  the  settlements  and  were  ex- 
tremely cautious  in  their  march.  They  kept  a  spy  before 
and  one  behind  on  the  trail;  so  that  their  retreat  was  guarded 
as  much  as  possible  by  their  numbers.  The  party  suffered 
much  from  hunger.  The  three  white  children  were  in  great 
misery  from  their  hurried  march  and  the  want  of  food.  But 
human  nature  can  endure  much  and  will  contrive  many  expe- 
dients before  suffering  death.  Mrs.  Gilham  patched  up  rags 
round  the  feet  of  her  children  to  save  them  from  the  briars  and 
thorns.  They  traveled  over  a  wilderness  without  roads.  A 
mother's  love  for  her  children  knows  no  bounds.  Sympathy  at 
last  seized  on  the  warriors  and  they  treated  the  prisoners  with 
all  the  savage  kindness  and  mercy  in  their  power. 

They  were  out  of  provisions  and  one  day  they  halted  to  hunt 
for  something  to  save  them  from  starving.  The  children  had  a 
small  morsel  of  dried  meat  to  eat,  and  the  grown  ones  nothing. 
Two  of  the  best  hunters  were  sent  out  and  one  returned  with  a 
poor  summer  raccoon.  Mrs.  Gilham  said  the  sight  of  this  poor 
coon  caused  her  more  happiness  than  any  other  earthly  sight 
she  ever  saw.  She  was  afraid  her  children  would  either  perish 


.with  hunger  or  the  Indians  would  kill  them  to  save  them  from 

The  party  could  not  hunt  near  the  white  settlement  for  fear 
of  detection,  and  if  they  delayed,  the  whites  would  overtake 
them.  This  was  the  reason  of  their  going  so  long  without  food 
and  almost  suffering  death  from  hunger. 

This  coon  was  not  dressed  in  Parisian  style,  but  most  of  the 
hair  and  fur  were  taken  off  and  some  of  the  contents  of  the 
extreme  inside  were  thrown  away,  while  the  balance  was  put  in 
a  brass  kettle  and  placed  over  a  fire.  The  coon  was  soon  boiled 
into  a  nondescript  dish — mixed  together  the  meat,  bones,  hide, 
some  hair,  some  entrails,  claws  and  feet  of  the  animal.  As 
soon  as  this  mess  was  cool  and  before,  the  horn  and  wooden 
spoons  were  in  complete  operation  and  the  whole  assembly  of 
white  and  red-skins  got  some  relief  from  absolute  starvation. 

As  they  approached  the  Ohio  River,  they  became  more  cau- 
tious, for  fear  of  meeting  the  Americans  on  the  river,  either 
waylaying  for  them  or  in  boats  descending  the  river.  They 
came  to  the  Ohio  a  small  distance  above  Hawesville,  Kentucky, 
and  camped  near  the  river  until  rafts  could  be  made  on  which 
to  cross  it.  They  were  detained  more  than  a  day  in  making 
rafts.  Dry  logs  were  procured  and  tied  together  with  red-elm 
bark  and  the  rafts  placed  near  the  edge  of  the  water,  so  that 
they  might  be  put  in  the  river  in  a  moment  and  not  touch  the 
water  before  they  started  over;  as  they  would  not  be  so  light,, 
having  received  some  water  before.  The  wily  savages  were 
afraid  to  cross  the  river  in  daylight.  Mrs.  Gilham  was  much 
terrified  at  the  idea  of  crossing  the  river  at  night.  The  party 
had  three  rafts.  The  largest  one  took  Mrs.  Gilham  and  her 
three  children,  with  two  prudent  old  Indians  to  paddle  it  over. 
The  others  crossed  in  the  two  rafts  prepared  for  them.  The 
embarkation  was  in  the  night,  as  silent  as  if  they  were  in  a 
graveyard,  and  the  rafts  were  paddled  over  the  Ohio  with  the 
same  secrecy. 

These  warriors  considered  it  a  great  triumph  to  take  these 
four  prisoners  and  conduct  them  in  safety  to  the  Indian  towns. 
In  this  proportion  they  exercised  all  their  talents  of  bravery 
and  sagacity  to  accomplish  it.  But  when  they  had  crossed  the 
Ohio,  they  considered  themselves  safe  and  released  their  watch- 
fulness and  caution  to  some  extent. 


In  the  country  south  of  White  River,  in  the  present  State  of 
Indiana,  they  hunted,  marched  slow,  and  lived  well  in  compari- 
son to  the  time  they  ate  the  coon.  They  steered  clear  of  the 
small  white  settlements  around  Vincennes  and  crossed  the 
Wabash  below  Terre  Haute.  They  marched  thro  the  present 
counties  of  Clark,  Coles,  and  Decatur,  Illinois,  and  finally,,  after 
a  long  and  hazardous  travel  from  the  southwestern  frontiers  of 
Kentucky — three  or  four  hundred  miles — they  reached  in  safety 
the  Kickapoo  town,  which  was  situated  on  Salt  Creek,  north- 
east of  the  Elk-Heart  Grove  in  Sangamon  County. 

What  a  horrid  situation  the  Indian  war  placed  the  Gilham 
family  in !  Four  with  the  Indians  and  two  in  Kentucky  in 
great  misery  and  affliction. 

Gilham,  as  soon  as  he  found  his  family  were  not  killed,  but 
taken  prisoners  by  the  Indians,  took  courage  and  hoped  again 
to  see  his  wife  and  children.  He  sold  his  improvement  in  Ken- 
tucky, put  his  son  Isaac  with  a  friend,  and  set  out  in  search  of 
his  people.  After  much  delay  and  fatigue  of  mind  and  body, 
he  found  they  were  alive  among  the  Indians  and  made  arrange- 
ments to  purchase  them.  At  last  he  obtained  all  his  lost  family 
and  they  lived  together  many  years  in  happiness.  The  young 
son,  Clement,  could  not  talk  a  word  of  English  when  he  was 
regained  by  his  father. 

In  1815,  Ann  Gilham,  the  wife  of  James  Gilham,  obtained  a 
grant  of  land  of  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  from  congress,  as 
an  honorable  testimony  of  the  sufferings  and  hardships  in  her 
captivity  with  the  Indians,  as  above  narrated. 

The  principal  town  with  the  Peoria  Indians,  in  1680,  when 
the  whites  first  explored  the  country,  was  at  the  outlet  of 
Peoria  Lake,  on  the  site  of  the  present  City  of  Peoria  and  Fort 
Crevecceur,  where  LaSalle  first  erected  it  in  January,  1680, 
was  one  mile  and  a-half  east  on  the  lake  from  this  Indian  town. 
The  site  at  Crevecceur  has  been  uniformly  recognized  by  the 
old  French  inhabitants  as  the.  Old  Fort,  ever  since  that  day 
down  to  the  present  time. 

It  was  quite  natural  for  LaSalle  to  erect  this  fort  a  short  dis- 
tance from  this  large  town  of  Indians  and  not  directly  in  the 
village.  And  it  may  be  said  with  equal  truth^that1  some  con- 
tinuous settlement  has  existed  at  and  near  Fort  Crevecoeur 


ever  since  its  first  establishment  to  the  present  time,  only  at 
two  intervals,  when  the  people  were  either  driven  off  by  the 
Indians  or  by  Capt.  Craig,  in  the  war  of  1812. 

About  1781  —  during  the  Revolutionary  war — when  Major 
Montgomery  visited  Peoria  and  the  inhabitants  joined  him 
against  the  British  and  Indians,  the  red-skins,  under  the  influ- 
ence of  the  British,  became  hostile  for  a  short  time  to  the  people 
of  Peoria,  and  in  consequence  of  this,  the  inhabitants  left  it; 
but  in  a  short  time,  friendly  feelings  were  restored  and  the  citi- 
zens of  Peoria  returned  to  their  village.  The  village  was  aban- 
doned but  for  a  short  time,  and  before  the  peace  in  1783,  it  was 
restored  to  its  former  or  greater  size. 

In  the  fall  of  1812,  in  the  war  with  Great  Britain,  Capt.  Thos. 
E.  Craig  fell  out  with  the  place  and  carried  off  many  citizens. 
He  landed  these  people  at  Savage's  Ferry,  on  the  Mississippi, 
where  the  town  of  Gibraltar  was  afterward  laid  out.  In  a  few 
years,  the  citizens  returned  to  Peoria  and  some  went  back  the 
same  winter  after  they  were  taken  away. 

The  traders,  their  voyagers,  and  others  in  their  employment 
occupied  this  post  more  or  less  ever  since  its  first  establishment. 
As  it  has  been  said,  the  Indian  trade  of  that  section  of  country 
was  better  than  at  any  other  point.  This  made  it  the  interest 
of  the  traders  to  occupy  the  place. 

Peoria  never,  in  ancient  times,  was  as  large  a  village  as  either 
Kaskaskia  or  Cahokia ;  but  it  is  more  ancient  than  either  of 
them.  LaSalle,  when  he  first  saw  the  country,  was  charmed 
with  the  beauty  of  the  place  and  established  a  fort  there.  He 
also  knew  the  resources  of  the  country  arising  from  the  Indian 
trade,  which  was  another  and  perhaps  a  greater  inducement  to 
erect  his  grand  depot  here  for  the  Indian  trade  than  for  any 
other  consideration. 

In  the  first  settlement  of  the  country,  the  missionaries  settled 
at  this  post  and  had  their  flocks  of  the  young  natives  around 
them.  Peoria  can  boast  of  a  higher  antiquity  than  any  town 
in  Illinois,  and  about  the  same  date  with  St.  Joseph,  Green  Bay, 
Mackinac,  and  Detroit. 

The  French  cultivated  some  ground,  more  or  less,  at  Peoria 
for  more  than  one  hundred  years  past.  They  cultivated  at  the 
old  village  to  some  extent  and  at  the  new  one  since  1778,  when 


it  was  commenced  by  Maillet.  It  will  be  seen  by  the  report 
of  the  United-States  officers,  sustained  by  positive  proof,  that 
one  Antoine  St.  Francois  had  a  family  in  Peoria  in  1765  and 
cultivated  a  field  of  corn  adjacent  to  the  village.  Other  inhabi- 
•  tants  also  resided  there  at  the  same  time  and  long  before.  It 
is  true,  most  of  the  citizens  were  Indian  traders  and  those  living 
on  the  trade;  but  this  trade  required  support  by  men  and  pro- 
visions, which  were  both  furnished  to  some  extent  by  the  set- 
tlers at  Peoria. 

Ke-kank-kem-kc  was  the  Indian  name  of  Peoria.  The  Potta- 
watomie  Indians,  who  occupied  the  country  after  the  Peorias 
were  driven  off,  and  all  the  surrounding  Indians  have  recognized 
the  above  name.  The  meaning  of  the  name  in  English  is  strait, 
frith,  or  narrow.  The  old  Indian  name  of  Detroit  in  Michigan 
is  the  same.  The  French  recognize  the  meaning  in  the  name 
of  Detroit,  but  not  the  Indian  word  of  Kc-kauk-kem-ke.  Detroit 
in  English  is  a  strait,  frith,  or  a  narrow  defile,  which  is  the  mean- 
ing of  the  above  Indian  word. 

The  French  gave  the  name  of  Peoria  to  that  place  on  account 
of  the  Peoria  tribe  of  Indians,  who  resided  at  the  strait  or  out- 
let of  the  lake  when  they  first  explored  the  country. 

Thomas  Forsyth  settled  in  Peoria  in  1809.  He  was  of  Irish 
extraction  and  born  at  Detroit,  December  5,  1771.  His  father, 
Robert  Forsyth,  emigrated  from  Ireland  to  Philadelphia  in 
1757;  went  to  Canada  and  was  wounded  in  the  battle  at  Que- 
bec, where  both  Wolfe  and  Montcalm  fell.  He  married  in 
Canada  and  emigrated  to  Detroit,  then  a  British  province. 

John  Edgar,  the  same  that  lived  and  died  at  Kaskaskia,  Jas. 
Abbot,  and  Robert  Forsyth  were  three  prominent  Irishmen  at 
Detroit,  whose  friendship  for  the  American  Revolution  caused 
at  least  two  of  them,  Edgar  and  Forsyth,  much  hardship  and 

The  British  governor  of  Detroit,  hearing  these  Irishmen  con- 
demning the  war  against  the  Americans  and  particularly  that 
brutal  conduct  of  .exciting  the  Indians  to  murder  the  American 
women  and  children  on  the  frontiers,  seized  Edgar  and  Forsyth 
and  cast  them  into  a  dark  and  loathsome  dungeon  at  Detroit. 

The  British,  not  repenting  of  their  barbarous  conduct  toward 
these  noble  Irishmen,  became  more  enraged  and  put  them  in 


irons  for  merely  expressing  their  opinions  in  favor  of  the  Ameri- 
can Revolution  and  condemning  the  murder  of  the  women  and 
children.  The  British  governor  of  Detroit  sent  Edgar  in  irons 
to  Quebec;  but  on  his  passage  he  escaped  near  Montreal  and 
went  to  Boston.  He  continued  his  march  until  he  reached 
Kaskaskia,  as  heretofore  stated.  The  enraged  British  retained 
Forsyth  for  a  long  time  in  prison,  and  at  last,  finding  nothing 
against  him,  turned  him  out.  James  Abbot  was  a  little  more 
cautious  and  was  not  imprisoned;  but  the  frowns  of  the  govern- 
•  ment  were  heavy  and  strong  against  him. 

Thomas  Forsyth,  the  subject  of  this  sketch,  was  raised  and 
•educated  at  Detroit  until  he  was  seventeen  years  old.  He 
received  a  plain,  common  education,  which  qualified  him  in 
after-life  for  both  the  public  and  private  business  in  which  he 
was  engaged.  In  1793,  he  left  Detroit  with  his  half-brother, 
John  Kinzie,*  the  founder  of  Chicago  and  the  father  of  John  H. 

*  John  Kinzie — son  of  a  Scotchman  named  John  Mackenzie,  who  lived  in  Quebec, 
and  later  moved  to  Detroit,  where  he  died — was  born  in  Quebec  in  1763;  his  mother 
had  previously  been  married  to  a  gentleman  of  the  name  of  Haliburton,  whose  only 
daughter  by  this  marriage  was  the  mother  of  Gen.  P'leming  and  Nicholas  Low  of 
New  York.  John  Kinzie  was  the  only  child  by  this  second  marriage;  his  father  died 
•during  his  infancy,  and  his  mother  married,  3d,  Robert  Forsyth,  a  Scotch- Irishman, 
from  Blackwater,  Ireland,  arriving  in  New  York  about  1750;  was  a  soldier  under 
Wolfe  at  Quebec,  and  was  twice  wounded;  was  later  stationed  at  Detroit  and  where, 
after  his  discharge,  married  and  settled;  kept  a  tavern  some  years;  engaged  in  the 
fur-trade;  and  died  about  1790. 

John  Kinzie,  when  about  eleven  years  old,  ran  away  from  a  school  at  Williams- 
burg,  L.  I.,  where  he  and  two  younger  half-brothers  were,  to  Quebec,  where  he 
acquired,  during  the  three  years  he  remained  there,  a  knowledge  of  silversmithing; 
that  he  turned  to  account  in  connection  with  the  Indian-trade  at  which  he  commenced 
early  in  life,  having  establishments  at  Detroit,  1795-7,  Sandusky,  Maumee,  and  later, 
1800,  at  St.  Josephs.  As  early  as  May  12,  1804,  he  was  sutler  for  Fort  Dearborn; 
later,  trading-posts  were  established  by  him  at  Milwaukee,  Rock  River,  on  the  Illi- 
nois and  Kankakee  rivers,  and  at  LeLarge  in  Sangamon  County,  111.  About  1810, 
his  partner  was  John  Whistler,  Jr.,  and  the  same  year  his  half-brother  Thomas 
Forsyth,  they  continued  together  as  late  as  1815. 

After  the  massacre,  August  15,  1812,  he  returned  to  Detroit,  and  again  to  Chicago 
in  1816.  In  1800,  he  married  (2d)  Mrs.  Eleanor  (Lytle)  McKillup,  the  widow  of  a 
British  officer,  having  previously  married  Margaret  Mackenzie,  by  whom  he  had 
William,  James,  and  Elizabeth.  The  children  by  the  second  marriage  were  John 
Harris;  Ellen  Marion,  born  at  Chicago,  Dec.,  1804,  married  (i),  July  20,  1823,  Dr. 
Alex.  Wolcott,  Indian  agent,  (2)  Geo.  C.  Bates,  May  26,  1836,  and  died  at  Detroit, 
Aug.  I,  1860;  Maria,  born  1807,  married  Lieut,  now  Maj.-Gen.  David  Hunter, 
U.S.A.,  of  Washington,  D.C. ;  Robert  Allen,  born  Feb.  8, 1810,  married  a  daughter  of 


Kinzie*  and  other  children.  He  remained  with  Kinzie  fifteen 
months  and  continued  the  Indian  trade  with  a  Scotch  merchant, 
Mr.  Sharp.  After  Sharp's  death,  in  1799,  Forsyth  commenced 
business  himself  and  steered  west  thro  the  Indian  country  by 
St.  Joseph,  Chicago,  Illinois  River,  to  the  Mississippi.  He  win- 
tered one  year  at  the  Two  Rivers,  on  the  Mississippi,  and 
traded  with  the  Western  Indians  for  several  years. 

He  married  a  lady  in  Upper  Canada,  near  Fort  Maiden,  and 
soon  after  removed  to  Peoria.  His  wife  was  born  in  Hagers- 
town,  Maryland,  and  her  family  name  was  Le,Motte.  Her 
father  and  family  were  captured  on  the  Ohio  River  by  the 
Indians  as  they  were  emigrating  West,  and  this  lady  and 
others  of  the  family  were  sent  to  Canada,  where  she  married 
Mr.  Forsyth. 

In  the  war  with  Great  Britain  in  1812,  Mr.  Forsyth  acted  an 
important  and  efficient  part  in  that  contest,  and  at  the  same 
time  a  very  dangerous  and  confidential  part.  In  the  beginning 
of  the  Indian  troubles  in  1811,  he  resided  at  Peoria  and  had  a 

Col.  Wm.  Whistler,  U.S.A.,  and  died  at  Chicago,  Dec.  12,  1873.  Shaw-nee-aw-ke — • 
silver  man — Mr.  Kinzie's  Indian  sobriquet,  was  U.-S.  Indian  interpreter,  sub-agent, 
etc.,  and  died  at  Chicago,  Monday,  Jan.  6,  1828. — G.  H.  F. 

*  John  Harris  Kinzie,  born  July  7,  1803,  at  Sandwich,  Canada,  arrived  with  his 
father  at  Chicago,  Oct  ,  1803,  where  he  remained  till  1812 — when  Fort  Dearborn  was 
abandoned — when  the  family  returned  to  Detroit,  and  in  1816  returned  to  Chicago,, 
where  he  remained  till  1818,  when  his  father  apprenticed  him  at  the  Mackinac  agency 
of  the  American  Fur  Co.;  in  1824,  he  was  transferred  to  Prairie  du  Chien;  in  1829, 
he  was  stationed  at  Fort  Winnebago,  as  sub-agent  of  Indian  affairs,  and  was  a  sub- 
scribing witness  at  many  of  the  treaties  made  with  the  Indians.  Aug.  9,  1830,  at 
Middletown,  Conn.,  he  married  Miss  Juliette  A.,  daughter  of  Arthur  Magill  of  that 
place,  later  of  Chicago,  111.  In  1833,  Chicago  again  became  his  home,  and  was 
engaged  in  the  forwarding  business;  later,  his  brother-in-law,  now  Maj.-Gen.  David 
Hunter,  was  his  partner.  In  1841,  he  was  appointed  registrar  of  public  lands  by 
Pres't  Harrison,  and  removed  by  Tyler.  In  1848,  when  the  Illinois-and- Michigan 
Canal  was  completed,  he  was  appointed  canal  collector.  In  1849,  President  Taylor 
appointed  him  receiver  of  public  moneys.  The  office  of  canal  collector  he  held  until 
commissioned  by  President  Lincoln  paymaster  in  the  army,  in  1861;  and  this  latter 
appointment  he  held  at  the  time  of  his  death,  which  occurred  on  the  cars  approach- 
ing Pittsburg,  Pa.,  June  21,  1865.  His  widow,  born  Sept.  II,  1806,  died  Sept.  15, 
1870;  their  children :  Eleanor  L..  wife  of  W.  W.  Gordon,  and  lives  at  Savannah,  Ga. ; 
John  Harris,  Jr.,  killed  at  Fort  St.  Charles,  Ark.,  June  18,  1862,  aged  23;  Arthur 
M.,  married  Caroline  Gilbert,  third  daughter  of  John  Lush  and  Maria  E.  (Whipple) 
Wilson,  now  living  at  Riverside,  Cook  County,  111.;  and  George  H.,  ist  lieutenant, 
1 5th  Infantry,  U.S.A.— G.  H.  F. 


great  influence  over  all  the  Indians;  but  more  particularly  with 
the  Pottawatomies.  He  had  been  raised  with  this  nation,  spoke 
their  language  well,  and  was  well  acquainted  with  their  char- 
acter. His  position,  Peoria,  was  in  their  .midst;  so  that  he  had 
a  knowledge  of  all  their  movements  and  even  their  councils 
relative  to  war. 

He  was  on  business  at  St.  Louis  in  the  early  part  of  1811, 
and  became  acquainted  with  Gen.  William  Clark,  the  superin- 
tendent of  Indian  affairs.  He  related  to  Clark,  on  being 
requested,  the  state  of  the  Indian  disposition  and  their  in- 
tended hostile  movements.  His  character  and  merit  were 
immediately  appreciated  and  he  was  appointed  an  Indian  agent 
at  Peoria';  but  this  appointment  was  not  made  known,  for  wise 
and  prudential  considerations.  If  the  Indians  were  to  know  it, 
he  would  lose  all  his  influence  with  them ;  but  by  retaining  his 
standing  and  influence  with  them,  he  could  ameliorate  much 
of  the  horrid  barbarities  that  are  commonly  practised  on  both 
sides  in  an  Indian  war.  Forsyth  had  not  the  power  to  avert 
the  Indian  war,  but  he  aided  much  in  its  amelioration. 

In  the  fall  of  1811,  he  understood  that  the  Sac  and  Fox 
Indians  were  about  to  make  an  attack  on  the  frontiers  of  Mis- 
souri, and  he  sent  down  to  the  officer  in  command  at  St.  Louis, 
a  confidential  Frenchman,  Antoine  Le  Pense,  who  gave  the  in- 
formation to  the  officer  and  much  of  the  calamity  was  avoided. 

Early  in  the  spring  of  1812,  when  a  kind  of  quasi  war  existed 
between  the  Indians  and  whites,  he  descended  the  Illinois  River 
to  St.  Louis  to  consult  with  Gov.  Howard,  and  also  proceeded 
to  Kaskaskia  to  see  Gov.  Edwards.  He  laid  the  whole  Indian 
affairs  in  relation  to  the  approaching  war  open  to  these  two- 
executive  officers  of  Illinois  and  Missouri,  which  gave  them  the 
true  state  of  matters,  so  they  might  make  arrangements  accord- 
ing to  the  exigencies. 

On  August  15,  1812,  the  Indians  massacred  -most  of  Capt. 
Nathan  Heald's  company  at  Chicago,  Illinois,  and  Lieut.  Lina 
T.  Helm  was  wounded  and  taken  prisoner.  Helm  was  the  first 
lieutenant  in  the  company  of  Capt.  Heald.  The  Indians  took 
him  to  the  AuSable  on  the  Illinois  River. 

Mr.  Forsyth,  hearing  of  the  massacre  of  the  troops  at  Chi- 
cago, at  the  risk  of  his  life,  went  directly  to  the  Indian  towns 


on  the  Illinois  River  to  see  and  ameliorate  the  condition  of  the 
prisoners.  He  found  Lieut.  Helm  at  the  AuSable  with  the 
Indians  and  had  the  influence  with  his  captors  to  ransom  him. 
He  advanced  the  amount  of  the  ransom  out  of  his  own  funds, 
and  perhaps  all  of  it  was  never  returned  to  him.  He  ransomed 
the  lieutenant  and  had  him  sent  in  safety  to  St.  Louis. 

Mr.  Forsyth  risked  his  life  every  moment  he  was  engaged 
in  this  important  and  truly  dangerous  service.  If  the  Indians, 
the  Pottawatomies,  were  to  receive  a  bare  hint  of  his  Indian 
agency,  he  would  have  been  burnt  at  the  stake.  He  risked  his 
life  for  his  country  and  was  in  extreme  and  imminent  danger 
for  a  great  portion  of  the  war.  It  required  the  utmost  sagacity 
and  great  propriety  of  judgment  to  manage  the  matter  so  as  to 
retain  the  confidence  of  the  Indians.  Much  of  their  friendship 
was  for  him  personally.  His  personal  influence  was  the  great 
cause  of  his  success.  He  had  been  uniformly  kind  and  benevo- 
lent to  them. 

To  show  his  confidence  and  friendship  to  them,  he  took  with 
him  a  few  of  the  old  friends  of  the  Indians,  who  had  married 
squaws  and  had  before  the  war  resided  at  Peoria.  He  also 
took  with  him  some  of  the  half-breed  children  to  see  their 
Indian  cousins.  They  had  no  weapons,  guns,  or  powder  with 
them.  They  carried  in  the  boat  such  articles  as  the  Indians 
needed  and  such  as  Forsyth  had  heretofore  sold  to  them,  except 
ammunition.  They  asked  Forsyth  the  reason  why  he  did  not 
-have  powder  and  lead  with  him  in  his  boat,  as  he  used  to  have. 
He  told  them  that  in  a  war  all  the  powder  and  lead  belonged 
to  the  great  father,  the  president,  and  he  would  not  let  any  of 
his  children  have  it  until  the  war  was  over.  He  said  Craig  had 
seized  him  and  all  their  old  friends  in  Peoria  by  force  and 
dragged  them  down  to  St.  Louis,  for  fear  their  friends  would  do 
the  Indians  some  good.  * 

What  made  it  the  most  dangerous  was  the  influence  Dickson 
had  with  the  Indians,  and  he  all  the  time  tempting  the  Illinois- 
River  Indians  either  to  kill  him  or  take  him  prisoner. 

While  Forsyth  was  on  one  of  these  missions  of  benevolence 
from  St.  Louis  to  his  old  friend,  a  Pottawatomie  chief  whose 
name  in  English  was  Sugar,  he  very  narrowly  escaped  losing 
his  life.  He  went  to  his  friend,  the  chief,  at  AuSable  village, 


above  Peoria,  and  staid  with  him  all  night.  In  the  night  he 
discovered  his  friend,  the  chief,  very  uneasy.  He  could  not 
sleep  and  was  frequently  up,  looking  round  his  camp.  Forsyth 
asked  what  was  the  matter.  The  Indian  said:  "I  am  afraid 
for  you.  Dickson  tried  to  get  me  to  take  you  prisoner.  I  told 
him  you  were  my  friend  and  I  would  not  hurt  you;  but,"  he 
said,  "there  are  some  Winnebagoes  not  far  off;  they  are  drink- 
ing and  I  am  afraid  they  may  come  to  take  you.  They  shall 
not  take  you;  but  in  the  conflict  they  might  kill  you." 

No  Indians  came  that  night ;  but  the  next  night  Dickson 
had  a  host  of  Winnebagoes  at  the  camp  of  the  chief;  but  For- 
syth had  left  the  same  day.  If  he  had  remained  he  would 
have  been  killed  or  taken  prisoner. 

Late  in  the  fall  of  1812,  Craig  was  in  the  Peoria  Lake  with  a 
boat  and  some  Indians  came  down  the  lake  in  a  boat  and  fired 
on  his  boat.  The  conduct  of  these  Indians  enraged  Craig 
against  the  citizens  of  Peoria.  He  said  they  were  friendly  to 
the  Indians.  He  forced  all  the  inhabitants  of  Peoria — Forsyth, 
the  Indian  agent,  as  well  as  the  rest — on  board  of  his  boat  and 
landed  them  at  Savage's  Ferry,  opposite  the  mouth  of  the  Mis- 

These  poor  people  were  harmless,  unoffending  inhabitants  of 
Peoria  and  were  forced  from  their  homes  and  living  to  almost 
starvation.  Many  of  them  soon  returned  to  Peoria  and  some 
the  same  winter.  They  had  left  their  cattle  and  all  their  sup- 
port at  the  village.  Craig,  in  his  rage,  also  burnt  most  of  the 
houses  in  the  village  of  Peoria.  While  Craig  was  kidnapping 
Forsyth,  he  did  not  inform  Craig  of  the  fact  that  he  was  Indian 
agent,  residing  at  Peoria  for  the  public  service  and  at  the 
request  of  the  general  government. 

Mr.  Forsyth  continued  to  act  as  Indian  agent  for  the  Illinois 
Indians  during  the  war;  but  when  peace  was  restored,  he  was 
entrusted  with  a  very  important  agency — that  of  agent  for  the 
Sac  and  Fox  nations  of  Indians.  He  attended  faithfully  to 
his  public  duties  in  this  office.  He  was  entrusted  with  large 
sums  of  money  and  great  amounts  of  merchandise  for  these 
Indians,  and  his  accounts  and  duties  were  always  approved  by 
the  government.  He  was  an  excellent  and  faithful  officer.  H£ 
.made  treaties  with  the  Sac  and  Fox  nations,  which  were 


always  ratified  by  the  government.  But  his  services  in  the  war 
and  his  benevolent  and  humane  conduct  to  the  wounded  and 
distressed  prisoners  on  the  Illinois  River,  deserve  the  lasting 
gratitude  and  esteem  of  the  government,  as  well  as  those  whose 
sufferings  he  so  kindly  relieved. 

He  retained  the  office  of  the  Indian  agency  of  the  Sac  and 
Fox  Indians  for  many  years,  and  if  he  had  been  continued  in. 
the  office  it  is  not  very  probable  that  Black  Hawk  would  have 
attempted  a  war  against  the  government.  Forsyth  had  such 
influence  over  the  Indians  that  it  is  quite  certain  he  could  have 
quieted  their  feelings  and  no  blood  would  have  been  shed. 

After  the  war,  in  1815,  Dickson  and  Forsyth  met  in  St.  Louis 
and  talked  over  their  doings  in  the  war.  Dickson  confessed  he 
was  near  making  Forsyth  a  prisoner;  while  Forsyth  said  Provi- 
dence and  justice  prevented  it. 

In.  the  decline  of  life,  Mr.  Forsyth  purchased  a  fine  farm  west 
of  St.  Louis  and  improved  it.  He  died  on  it  in  18^2.  His 
death  was  a  loss  to  the  community  and  as  such  and  for  the  re- 
spect and  esteem  entertained  for  him  by  the  people,  his  friends, 
family,  and  the  public  generally,  lamented  his  death  with  heart- 
felt grief  and  sorrow.  Nature  bestowed  on  him  a  sound,  well- 
balanced  mind,  and  benevolence  and  kindness  of  heart  were  his 
predominant  traits  of  character.  His  person  was  large  and 
portly.  He  occupied  a  prominent  standing  in  community  and 
well  did  he  deserve  it  by  his  uncommon  services  to  the  public. 
His  private  life  was  amiable  and  kind.  His  duties  as  husband 
and  father  he  performed  in  that  amiable  and  benevolent  manner 
that  showed  a  heart  overflowing  with  "the  milk  of  human  kind- 
ness." He  possessed  many  virtues  and  trr.-ts  of  character  to 
be  admired  and  approved,  while  he  had  very  few  to  be  con- 

In  1795,  the  territorial  legislature  erected  a  new  county  out 
of  the  southern  part  of  St.  Clair  and  called  it  Randolph,  in 
honor  of  the  governor  of  that  name  of  Virginia.  The  line 
dividing  Randolph  and  St.  Clair  counties  runs  nearly  east  and 
west  to  the  head  of  Ryan's  Creek;  pursued  that  creek  to  the 
Bottom,  and  thence  to  the  Mississippi.  Kaskaskia  was  made 
^the  county-seat  of  Randolph  County  and  Cahokia  that  of 
St.  Clair. 

The  Religion  and  Morals  of  Illinois  prior  to  1818. 

FOR  the  following  sketch  of  the  early  American  pioneers, 
their  religious  and  moral  character,  and  the  pioneer  efforts  to 
form  religious  institutions  in  this  territory,  cultivate  the  minds 
and  morals  of  the  people,  I  am  indebted  to  my  friend,  Rev. 
John  Mason  Peck*  of  this  [St.  Clair]  County.  The  brief  reply 
to  the  request  made  him  precedes  the  sketch : 

*  John  Mason  Peck,  the  only  child  of  Asa  and  Hannah  (Farnum)  Peck,  was  born 
Oct.  31,  1789,  at  South- Farms  Parish,  Litchfield  Co.,  Conn.  He  came  of  Puritan 
stock,  his  ancestors  Dea.  Paul  and  Martha  Peck  emigrated  from  Essex  Co.,  Eng., 
1634,  and  settled  at  Hartford,  Conn.,  of  which  place  he  was  one  of  the  proprietors 
.and  where  he  died  Dec.  23,  1695.  Jonn  M.  lived  on  his  father's  little  farm  and  after 
his  fourteenth  year  a  large  share  of  its  cultivation  was  performed  by  him.  During 
>the  winter  months  a  part  of  his  time  was  spent  at  a  common-school  that  must  have 
been  inferior  to  the  average  institutions  of  that  kind  then  in  New  England,  as  he 
complained  that  after  he  was  eighteen,  and  had  began  to  teach  school,  his  own  spell- 
•ing  and  writing  were  sadly  deficient  and  he  did  not  pretend  to  understand  grammar. 
At  this  age  he  was  brought  under  a  strong  religious  influence,  and  soon  it  became  a 
serious  alternative  choice  with  him  whether  it  was  his  duty  to  prepare  himself  for 
the  ministry  or  remain  upon  the  farm  as  the  chief  reliance  of  his  poor  and  infirm 
parents.  It  was  perhaps  to  reconcile  his  conscience  to  the  latter  choice  that  he  took 
to  himself  a  wife,  and  married,  May  8,  1809,  Sarah  Paine,  born  in  Green  Co.,  N.Y., 
Jan.  31,  1789,  who,  after  her  father's  second  marriage,  went  to  her  mother's  relatives 
in  Litchfield,  Conn.;  and  died  at  Rock  Spring,  St.  Clair  Co.,  111.,  Oct.  24,  1856. 
Their  children  were:  Eli  Paine,  born  July  28,  1810,  at  Litchfield,  Conn.,  died  near 
St.Charles,  Mo.,  Oct.  5,  1820;  Hannah  F.,  born  July  10,  1812,  married  Ashford 
Smith  of  Rockville,  Iowa;  Harvey  Y.,  born  Sept.  28,  1814,  died  Dec.  17,  1855, 
leaving  a  widow  and  six  children;  Wm.  C.,  born  Feb.  ir,  1818,  died  Sept.  14,  1821; 
Mary  Ann,  born  Sept.  18,  1820,  wife  of  Sam.  G.  Smith,  resides  on  the  old  homestead 
in  St. Clair  Co.,  111.;  Wm.  S.,  born  Nov.  13,  1823,  lives  in  Iowa;  John  Q.  A.,  born 
Aug.  27,  1825,  lives  at  Rock  Spring;  an  infant,  born  Dec.  10,  1827,  died  sin  nomine; 
Henry  M.,  born  May  7,  1829,  resides  at  Rock  Spring;  James  A.,  born  Sept.  21,  1831. 
Two  years  later,  1811,  he  moved  with  wife  and  one  child  to  Wmdham,  Green  Co., 
N.Y.,  then  known  as  Big  Hollow;  the  six  following  years  were  devoted  to  preach- 
ing, school-teaching,  and  organizing  churches  and  Sunday-schools  in  that  sparsely- 
settled  vicinity;  in  1817,  with  wife  and  three  children,  he  journeyed  by  land  in  a 
small  wagon  drawn  by  one  horse  to  Shawneetown,  111.,  arriving  late  in  the  fall; 
•thence  in  a  keel-boat,  commanded  by  Capt.  Nixon,  late  of  Calhoun  Co.,  111.,  his 
brother-in-law,  to  St.  Louis,  Mo.,  where,  or  near  St.Charles,  his  family  resided  for 
the  next  five  years,  while  he  traveled  through  Missouri  Ter'y,  preaching,  organizing 
churches  and  Sunday-schools,  distributing  bibles  and  other  religious  matter,  except 



"Gov.  REYNOLDS: — Your  letter  of  March  1st,  requesting 
from  my  peri  sketches  of  the  religious  and  moral  history  of 

for  a  short  time  when  he  taught  school  at  St. Louis  and  St. Charles;  in  the  spring  of 
1822,  he  purchased  from  the  U.  S.  sec.  27,  T.  2,  N.R.  7,  W.,  about  3  miles  west 
of  Lebanon,  St.Clair  Co.,  111.,  Rock  Spring,  so  named  by  him  from  a  spring  gushing 
from  the  cloven  rock,  near  which  the  same  year  he  built  his  first  double  log-house. 
•  (  In  Feb.,  1825,  he  went  East  and  secured  funds  and  arranged  for  the  establishment 
•'  of  a  Baptist  seminary;  with  the  aid  thus  secured,  together  with  his  personal  contri- 
butions of  money  and  labor,  a  two-story  frame  building  with  two  one-story  wings 
was  completed  in  1827,  near  his  residence,  and  with  25  students,  soon  increased  to 
100,  was  opened  the  "  Rock- Spring  Theological  Seminary  and  High-School,"  the 
first  institution  in  the  State  of  a  higher  dignity  than  a  common  county-school.  Dr. 
Peck  was  professor  of  theology;  Rev.  Joshua  Bradley,  president;  and  Rev.  John 
Messinger,  professor  of  mathematics;  in  1831  it  was  closed,  and  was  reopened  at 
Upper  Alton  in  1832  as  the  Alton  Seminary;  a  charter  was  granted  in  1833,  and 
declined  by  the  projectors  on  account  of  its  restrictions;  intermediate  legislation  in 
1835-6  and  the  session  of  1841  repealed  the  objectionable  provisos;  Dr.  Peck  had 
in  the  meantime  induced  Benj.  Shurtleff,  M. D.,  of  Boston,  Mass.,  to  contribute 
$10,000,  in  consideration  the  name  was  changed  and  is  still  known  as  Shurtleff 
College.  About  1822,  Dr.  Peck  became  the  general  western  agent  of  the  American 
Bible  Society  for  western  half  of  Indiana,  Illinois,  and  Missouri;  he  had  strong 
anti-slavery  sentiments  and  took  an  active,  prominent,  and  leading  part  in  the  struggle 
of  1823-4  that  prevented  the  introduction  of  slavery  into  the  State;  in  1826,  wasj^ 
year  at  college  in  Philadelphia,  where  he  acquired  a  knowledge  of  Greek  and  Latin, 
the  sciences,  and  something  of  medicine.  April  25,  1829,  at  Rock  Spring,  was 
issued  the  first  number  of  The  Pioneer,  Rev.  Thos.  P.  Green,  publisher,  and  Dr. 
Peck,  editor;  it  was  a  five-column,  single-sheet  newspaper,  the  second  established  in 
St.Clair  Co. ;  in  the  fall  of  the  same  year,  Dr.  Peck,  by  purchase  of  Green's  interest, 
became  sole  proprietor;  in  1836,  77ie  Pioneer  followed  Rock-Spring  Seminary  to 
Alton,  where  it  reappeared  as  Western  Pioneer  and  Baptist  Standard- Bearer,  Dr.  Peck 
continuing  as  editor  and  Ashford  Smith,  his  son-in-law,  having  charge  of  the  printing; 
in  1839,  it  was  merged  in  the  Baptist  Banner  of  Louisville.  Ky.,  to  which  the  good- 
will and  subscription  lists  were  turned  over.  In  addition  to  his  many  and  varied  duties, 
besides  being  a  prolific  lecturer  on  agriculture  and  aboriginal  and  early  Western  his- 
tory he  found  time  to  contribute  to  newspapers  and  many  lengthy  and  studious  articles 
to  magazines,  as  well  as  to  write  the  following:  "Guide  for  Emigrants,  containing 
sketches  of  Illinois  and  Adjacent  Parts.  Boston;  Lincoln  &  Edmunds,  1831.'* 
•'Gazetteer  of  Illinois;  in  Three  Parts,  containing  a  General  View  of  the  State;  a 
General  View  of  each  Town,  Settlement,  Stream,  Prairie,  Bottom,  Bluff,  etc., 
Alphabetically  Arranged.  Robert  Goudy,  Jacksonville,  1834."  Another,  "Second 
edition,  entirely  revised,  corrected,  and  enlarged;  Grigg  &  Elliot,  Phila. ,  1837." 
"New  Map  of  Illinois.  J.  H.  Colton,  N.  Y.,  1837."  "Life  of  Daniel  Boon,'* 
1846;  and  edited  the  "Annals  of  the  West.  Second  edition.  St.  Louis,  1850." 

WJulejn  charge  of  a  Baptist  college  at  Covington,  Ky.,  in  1854,  he  was  a"^icte(i 
with  a  fever  from  the  effects  of  which  he  never  fulTy  recovered,  and  died  four  years 
later  at  Rock  Spring,  March  15,  1858,  as  he  said  "literally  worn  out";  his  remains 
rest  beneath  a  beautiful  monument  erected  to  his  memory  in  Bellefontaine  Cemetery, 
St.  Louis,  Mo.— H.  W.  BECK.\VITH,  Danville,  111.,  July  17,  1884. 


the  early  American  immigrants  to  Illinois,  especially  those 
about  New  Design  and  its  vicinity,  has  received  due  atten- 
tion. In  compliance  therewith,  I  have  prepared  the  following 
sketches  previous  to  1818,  the  period  when  your  history  ter- 
minates; which  you  are  at  liberty  to  use  as  you  may  deem 
expedient  for  your  forth-coming  work. 

"Respectfully  yours,         J.  M.  PECK. 
"RocK  SPRING,  ILL.,  March  20,  1852." 

The  conquest  of  Illinois  by  Gen.  G.  R.  Clark,  in  1/78,  and 
the  organization  of  a  civil  government  by  Virginia,  prepared 
the  \yay  for  American  immigration  to  this  country,  and  by 
1786,  a  number  of  families  had  settled  in  the  American  Bot- 
tom and  in  the  uplands  of  what  is  Monroe  County.  •  The  set- 
tlement on  the  hill  country  at  an  early  period  obtained  the 
name  of  New  Design,  the  centre  of  which  was  some  three  or 
four  miles  south  of  Waterloo.  Contiguous  to  the  present 
county-seat  and  near  the  residence  of  the  late  John  Milton 
Moore  was  another  early  settlement,  called  Bellefontaine  from 
a  celebrated  spring,  which  still  throws  out  a  residuum  of  its 
salubrious  water.  A  third  settlement,  which  originated  a  few 
years  later,  was  Whiteside's  Station,  a  few  miles  north  of 
Waterloo.  Three  other  neighborhoods  or  settlements,  as  a 
few  contiguous  families  were  called,  were  in  the  American 
Bottom — all  within  the  present  boundaries  of  Monroe  County. 

The  immigrants  that  require  notice  came  principally  from 
Western  Virginia  and  Kentucky.  A  number  of  these  pioneers 
had  visited  the  Illinois  country  as  volunteers  under  Col.  Clark, 
seen  its  rich  and  fertile  soil,  gazed  with  wonder  on  its  prairies, 
and  after  their  discharge,  returned  with  their  families  and  in 
the  company  of  neighbors  and  relatives. 

The  first  class  of  these  immigrants  came  out  in  1/81,  of 
whom  we  can  give  the  names  of  J.  Moore,  Shadrach  Bond,  Sr., 
Robert  Kidd,  James  Garrison,  Larkin  Rutherford,  and  J.  Pig- 
gott.  Nothing  deserving  note  occurred  among  this  little  band 
of  pioneers  until  1785,  when  they  were  joined  by  Capt.  Joseph 
Ogle,  Joseph  Worlcy,  and  Jas.  Andrews,  all  with  large  families 
from  Western  Virginia  and  but  a  few  miles  from  Wheeling. 

In    1786,   they   were    reinforced    by    the    arrival    of    James 


Lemen,  Sr.,  James  McRoberts,  George  Atchison,  and  David 
Waddle,  and  their  families.  There  were  probably  others 
whose  names  are  not  mentioned;  but  I  am  not  able  to  give 
definitely  the  dates  of  their  arrival  in  the  country  or  of  their 
religious  and  moral  influence. 

None  of  these  persons  were  members  or  communicants  in 
Christian  churches  at  the  period  of  their  arrival  in  this  wild 
country;  but  many  of  them  had  been  trained  up  by  moral  and 
religious  parents  or  guardians,  taught  to  regard  the  Sabbath 
as  a  day  of  worship  and  the  propriety  of  doing  justly  and 
being  merciful  to  their  fellow-men  and  keeping  the  command- 
ments of  the  Lord.  Tradition  says  there  was  a  female.  Mrs. 
Bond,  who  had  been  a  member  of  the  Presbyterian  church. 

Their  Sabbath  meetings  were  held  alternately  at  each  others 
cabins  and  were  conducted  by  Shadrach  Bond,  Sr.,  (called 
Judge  Bond),  James  Piggott,  and  James  Lemen,  Sr.,  who  read 
the  Scriptures,  especially  the  psalms,  and  sermons  from  books 
and  sung  hymns.  No  prayers  were  offered.  In  this  way, 
order  and  good  morals  were  preserved  in  the  settlements. 

There  was  a  class  of  Americans  who  paid  no  regard  to  the 
Sabbath,  but  engaged  in  sport  and  pastime,  drank  intoxicat- 
ing liquors,  used  profane  language,  and  were  careless  of  moral 
duties  and  the  fear  of  the  Lord ;  but  at  this  distant  period 
they  and  their  posterity  are  unknown. 

In  the  summer  of  1787,  James  Smith,  a  Baptist  preacher 
from  Lincoln  County,  Kentucky,  visited  New  Design  and 
preached  to  the  people  repeatedly.  His  labors  were  success- 
ful ,and  several  of  the  leading  pioneers  professed  to  be  con- 
verted ;  among  whom  were  Joseph  Ogle  and  James  Lemen,  y 
Sr.,  their  wives  and  other  connections.  Elder  Smith  returned 
again  in  the  spring  of  1790,  and  preached  several  times  and 
many*  more  became  deeply  interested  about  the  gospel  of 
Jesus  Christ. 

On  May  19,  as  Mr.  Smith  was  proceeding  from  the  block- 
house, as  it  was  called,  to  Little  Village,  in  company  with  a 
Frenchman  and  a  Mrs.  Huff,  they  were  fired  on  by  a  party  of 
Indians  who  were  concealed  in  a  thicket  near  Bellefontaine. 
His  horse  and  the  one  rode  by  the  Frenchman  were  shot  and 
the  woman  wounded.  Smith  had  the  presence  of  mind  to 


throw  his  saddle-bags,  which  contained  papers  of  value,  into  a 
thicket  and  retreated  to  the  foot  of  the  hill,  fell  on  his  knees, 
and  prayed  for  Mrs.  Huff,  whom  the  Indians  were  butchering 
and  who  had  been  seriously  exercised  about  her  own  salvation 
under  the  preaching  for  several  days.  The  Frenchman  made 
4iis  escape  and_  Smith's  saddle-bags  were  found  next  day  by 
his  friends.  The  Indians  made  the  preacher  a  prisoner,  loaded 
him  with  a  pack  of  plunder  they  had  taken  from  the  settle- 
ments, and  began  their  march  thro  the  prairies.  Smith  was  a 
large,  heavy  man  and  under  his  heavy  load  and  a  hot  sun, 
soon  became  fatigued. 

Consultations  were  held  by  the  Indians  how  they  should 
dispose  of  their  prisoner.  Some  proposed  to  kill  him,  fearing 
the  white  people  would  follow  them,  and  pointed  their  guns 
at  his  breast.  Knowing  well  the  Indian  character,  he  bared 
his  breast,  as  though  he  dared  them  to  shoot  him,  and  then 
pointed  upward,  to  signify  the  Great  Spirit  was  his  protector. 
Having  caught  him  while  in  the  attitude  of  prayer  and  hear- 
ing him  sing  hymns  on  his  march,  which  he  did  to  relieve 
his  mind  from  despondency,  they  concluded  he  was  a  "  great 
medicine "  and  held  intercourse  with  the  Great  Spirit,  and 
must  not  be  killed. 

They  took  him  to  their  town  on  the  Wabash,  from  whence, 
thro  the  agency  of  the  French  traders  from  Vincennes,  he 
obtained  his  freedom — the  people  of  New  Design  paying  one 
hundred  and  seventy  dollars  for  his  ransom.  He  visited  Illi- 
nois the  third  time,  obtained  his  saddle-bags  and  papers,  which 
•contained  some  evidence  of  land-titles  for  his  friends,  and  re- 
turned to  Kentucky,  where  he  lived  and  died. 

The  next  preacher  who  visited  the  Illinois  country  was  Rev. 
Joseph  Lillard,  a  Methodist.  Mr.  Lillard  had  been  in  the 
'"traveling  connection"  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  for  several 
years.  In  1790,  he  was  placed  on  Lime-Stone  circuit,  Ken- 
tucky, a  new  one,  and  in  1791,  on  Salt-River  circuit.  In  1793, 
he  visited  the  Illinois  country,  preached  to  the  people,  and 
spent  some  time  there.  Either  then  or  at  a  future  time  he 
withdrew  from  the  traveling  connection,  not  being  in  favor  of 
the  government  of  that  church.  He  organized  the  first  Meth- 
odist class  ever  formed  in  this  territory  and  appointed  Capt. 


/  Joseph  Ogle  class-leader.  The  captain  not  being  a  ready 
[  writer,  his  sister,  Mrs.  Tolin,  kept  the  records  for  him. 

Mr.  Lillard  was  esteemed  by  all  as  a  pious  and  exemplary 
man;  but  while  in  Illinois,  he  became  afflicted  with  aberation 
of  mind,  made  his  escape  from  the  house,  _and  tho  pursued,  he 
outran  his  friends  and  followed  the  trail  toward  Kaskaskia. 
On  the  route,  he  came  across  the  body  of  a  man  by  the  name 
of  Sipp,  whom  the  Indians  had  killed  and  scalped.  While 
looking  on  this  horrid  picture,  he  became  calm,  his  conscious- 
ness was  restored,  and  he  returned  to  his  friends  at  New 
Design  and  made  report  of  the  discovery.  The  people  made 
up  a  party,  visited  the  spot,  and  buried  the  unfortunate  man. 
Mr.  Lillard  continued  to  preach  the  gospel  as  a  kind  of  inde- 
pendent Methodist  in  Kentucky.  About  twenty  years  or 
more  since,  he  made  another  visit  to  Illinois  and  preached  in 
this  county. 

After  the  visits  of  Elder  James  Smith,  meetings  were  held 
/  more  regularly,  unless  in  times  of  Indian  alarm,  and  were  con- 
ducted with  singing,  prayer,  and  reading  discourses.  The  late 
Shadrach  Bond,  Sr.,  called  Judge  Bond,  frequently  led  in  these 
meetings  and  read  the  discourses. 

It  was  probably  in  December,  1793,  or  January,  1794,  while 
Judge  Bond  was  officiating  in  this  informal  manner  on  Sab- 
bath, that  a  stranger  came  into  the  meeting.  He  was  a  large, 
portly  man,  with  dark  hair,  a  florid  complexion,  and  regular 
features.  His  dress  was  in  advance  of  the  deer-skin  hunting- 
shirts  and  Indian  rnoccasons  of  the  settlers ;  his  countenance 
grave  and  his  aspect  so  serious  that  the  mind  of  the  reader  was 
impressed  with  the  thought  that  he  was  a  man,  perhaps  a 
preacher,  and  an  invitation  was  given  for  him  to  close  the  exer- 
cises, if  he  was  a  "  praying  man."  The  stranger  kneeled  and 
made  an  impressive,  fluent,  and  solemn  prayer.  There  was  a 
man  in  the  company  of  small  talents  and  rather  narrow  views, 
who  from  his  national  origin  bore  the  sobriquet  of  Dutch  Pete 
among  the  people;  or  Peter  Smith,  as  his  name  appears  in  thj 
land  documents.  Pete  was  a  zealous  Methodist  and  when  his 
own  brethren  or  preachers  prayed,  he  felt  moved  by  the  spirit 
to  utter  amen  at  the  close  of  every  sentence.  While  the  people 
were  on  their  knees  or  with  their  heads  bowed  low  on  their 


seats,  Pete  manifested  uneasiness  during  the  prayer  of  the 
stranger.  He  fidgeted  one  way  and  then  another ;  uttered  a 
low  but  audible  groan  and  to  those  near  him  seemed  in  trouble. 
The  very  impressive  and  earnest  prayer  of  the  gentleman 
excited  his  feelings  beyond  suppression.  He  might  not  be  a 
Methodist;  but  Pete  could  not  hold  in  no  longer  and  bawled 
out  at  the  top  of  his  voice:  "Amen,  at  a  wenture !  " 

The  stranger  proved  to  be  Rev.  Josiah  Dodge  from  Nelson 
County,  Kentucky,  who  was  on  a  visit  to  his  brother,  Dr.  Israel 
Dodge  of  Ste.  Genevieve  and  the  father  of  Henry  S.  Dodge, 
late  governor  and  now  United- States  senator  of  Wisconsin. 
Hearing  of  these  religious  people  being  entirely  destitute  of 
ministerial  instruction,  he  had  arrived  opportunely  to  preach  to 
them.  Mr.  Dodge  spent  some  time  in  the  settlement,  preached  ,  / 
frequently,  and  in  February  the  ice  was  cut  in  Fountain  Creek 
and  he  baptized  James  Lemen,  Sr.,  and  Catherine,  his  wife, 
John  Gibbons  and  Isaac  Enochs,  who  were  the  first  persons 
ever  baptized  in  this  Territory. 

During  the  next  two  years  the  people  remained  without 
preachers;  but  both  Baptists  and  Methodists,  without  organized 
societies,  united  in  holding  prayer- meetings,  in  which,  as  for- 
merly, the  Scriptures  and  sermon -books  were  read,  prayers 
offered,  and  hymns  sung  in  praise  to  God. 

In  the  spring  of  1^96^  Elder  David  Badgley  from  Hardy  ^ 
County,  Virginia,  made  a  visit  to  this  country.  He  arrived  in 
the  New-Design  settlement  on  May  4,  and  preached  day  and 
night  until  the  3Oth;  during  which  time  he  baptized  fifteen  per- 
sons on  a  profession  of  .faith  in  Christ.  Baptist  immigrants 
had  come  from  Kentucky  since  the  visit  of  Mr.  Dodge,  among 
whom  was  Joseph  Chance,  who  had  been  set  apart  as  a  lay- 
elder  in  Kentucky.  He  and  Mr.  Badgley  organized  the  first 
Baptist  church  in  the  country,  of  twenty-eight  members,  which 
was  called  New  Design.  This  church,  with  various  fluctuations, 
continued  until  1821,  when,  having  been  reduced  by  removals, 
deaths,  and  the  formation  of  other  churches,  it  became  extinct 
and  the  remaining  members  joined  Fountain-Creek  church  in 
the  same  vicinity. 

Rev.  David  Badgley  returned  to  Virginia  and  in  the  spring 
of  1797,  removed  his  family  to  Illinois  and  took  the  pastoral 


charge  of  this  church.  A  revival  of  religion  followed  jind  in 
April,  1798,  Badgley  and  Chance  formed  another  church  of 
fifteen  members  in  the  American  Bottom,  a  few  miles  above 

In  1796,  the  late  Rev.  Hosea  Riggs,  then  an  exhorter  in  the 
Methodist-Episcopal  church,  came  to  Illinois  and  settled  in  the 
American  Bottom  near  Chaffin's  old  place.  The  class  formed 
by  Rev.  Joseph  Lillard  had  been  dissolved  or  ceased  to  hold 
regular  meetings,  and  Mr.  Riggs  gathered  together  the  old 
members,  the  Ogles,  Casterline,  William  Murray,  and  others, 
and  formed  the  class  regularly  at  Mr.  Ogle's  in  the  bottom, 
Monroe  County.  Subsequently,  he  forrrled  another  class  in 
Goshen  Settlement.  Both  of  these  subsequently  ceased  as 
social  organizations  and  the  members  who  maintained  a  Chris- 
tian character  were  merged  in  other  classes. 

Mr.  Riggs  was  born  in  Western  Virginia,  April  4,  1760.  He 
was  a  soldier  in  the  Revolutionary  war,  and  when  twenty-two 
years  of  age,  enlisted  in  the  army  of  Christ  and  joined  the 
Methodist  church.  He  soon  became  an  exhorter  and  proved  a 
diligent  and  faithful  soldier.  In  1803,  he  went  to  Kentucky  to 
attend  the  Western  Conference  and  to  solicit  a  preacher  for 
Illinois,  and  the  conference  appointed  Rev.  Benjamin  Young  to 
form  a  circuit.  Mr.  Riggs  was  subsequently  ordained  and  for 
a  long  series  of  years  maintained  a  respectable  character  and 
standing  as  a  local  preacher.  He  removed  to  St.  Clair  County 
at  an  early  period,  settled  two  miles  east  of  Belleville,  and  died 
October  29,  1841,  aged  eighty-one  years;  at  that  time  the  oldest 
man  in  the  county. 

In  1804,  Benjamin  Young  came  to  Illinois  as  a  missionary 
preacher  and^was  the  first  Methodist  preacher  who  rode  circuit 
here  under  direction  of  the  conference. 

The  Western  Conference,  as  it  was  called,  was  the  only- 
annual  conference  in  the  Methodist  organization  in  the  Missis- 
~sippi  Valley,  and  in  1805,  contained  four  districts,  Holton,  Cum- 
berland, Kentucky,  and  Ohio,  and  11,877  members  in  society. 
At  that  period  there  were  a  number  of  respectable '  men,  pos- 
sessing more  than  ordinary  intelligence,  in  the  Illinois  country 
who  openly  professed  to  disbelieve  the  sacred  truths  of  revealed 
religion.  At  one  period  an  effort  was  made  to  organize  an  asso- 


ciation  and  adopt  a  code  of  morality  in  which  nothing  was  to 
be  introduced  from  that  antiquated  and  superstitious  book 
called  the  Bible.  Tradition  says  the  organization  was"defeated 
by  the  unlucky  mistake  of  the  committee  unwittingly  introduc- 
ing the  moral  principles  of  the  Scriptures,  which  a  waggish 
member  exposed.  It  is  a  lamentable  fact  that  some  of  the 
fraternity  bewildered  the  mind  of  the  -unfortunate  preacher  by 
their  wild  speculations  and  he  was  caught  in  the  snare  of  scep- 
ticism. This  was  regarded,  of  course,  as  a  splendid  triumph 
and  produced  a  disastrous  effect  on  some  others,  especially 
untrained  minds. 

Young  was  expelled  from  the  conference  and  fora  number 
of  years  was  in  darkness  and  doubt  and  sustained  sore  trials. 
After  years  of  wandering  and  unbelief,  afflicted  in  body  and 
more  wretched  in  mind,  he  became  a  penitent,  sought  an  in- 
terest in  the  prayers  of  the  preachers,  cast  himself  on  the 
mercy  of  God  in  Christ  and  died  in  peace. 

Dr.  Joseph  Oglesby  was' the  preacher  on  this  circuit  in  1805. 
He  was  a  man  of  vigorous  mind,  good  preaching  talents,  and  a 
successful  laborer.  He  is  still  living  in  Indiana. 

Rev.  Charles  R.  Matheny"*  followed  him  in  1806,  who  mar- 
ried a  daughter  of  Capt.  Joseph  Oglesby  and  settled  in  the 
county  of  St.  Clair.  He  turned  his  attention  to  law  and  poli- 
tics, but  retained  his  ministerial  and  Christian  profession;  was 
appointed  clerk  of  the  county  of  Sangamon;  settled  in  Spring- 
field, where  he  sustained  an  honorable  and  upright  character  as 

*  Rev.  Charles  R.  Matheny  was  a  member  of  Capt.  James  B.  Moore's  company 
of  "rangers"  during  the  months  of  July  and  August,  1812.  He  was  afterward  a 
member  of  the  territorial  legislature,  representing  St.  Clair  County  in  the  lower 
house  of  the  third  and  last  assemblies,  in  1816-8;  and  was  also  a  member  from  the 
same  county  in  the  second  general  assembly  in  1820-2.  "In  1817,  the  territory 
of  Illinois  was  divided  into  three  circuits;  and  in  the  first  circuit,  including  the  coun- 
ties of  St.  Clair  and  Randolph,  presided  over  by  Jesse  B.  Thomas  as  judge,  Charles 
R.  Matheny  was  prosecuting-attorney.  In  this  capacity  he  attended  the  first  circuit- 
court  held  in  Monroe  County,  at  Harrisonville,  July  21,  1817.  He  was  succeeded  by 
Daniel  Pope  Cook,  beginning  at  the  fall  term,  1819;  the  latter  being  the  first  prose- 
cuting-attorney under  the  new  State  organization." 

Removing  to  .Sangamon  County  on  its  organization,  in  1821,  he  became  its  first 
county  clerk,  a  position  he  held  uninterruptedly  until  his  death,  Oct.  IO,  1839.  He 
was  also  circuit  clerk  until  1835.  His  wife  survived  him  many  years,  dying  at  a  ripe 
old  age  in  1858.  Mr.  Malheny  was  succeeded  in  the  county  clerk's  office  by  his 



a  citizen  and  a  faithful  and  devout  Christian,  and  died  a  few 
years  since,  beloved  and  revered  by  all  his  acquaintance. 

Among  the  useful  men  and  successful  pioneer  preachers  of 
Illinois  we  must  not  overlook  Rev.  John  Clark.  He  was  by 
birth  a  Scotchman,  was  well  educated,  followed  the  seas  in 
early  life,  and  was  pressed  on  board  a  British  man-of-war, 
which  lay  off  Charleston  harbor  in  1781.  Being  a  high-toned 
liberty  man,  he  was  so  opposed  to  being  compelled  to  fight  the 
Americans  that,  at  the  risk  of  his  life,  he  swam  ashore  and 
escaped  with  one  of  his  comrades  and  made  his  way  into  the 
country,  where  he  taught  a  school.  For  about  one  year  he  was 
under  much  distress  on  account  of  his  sins  and  guilt,  without 
anyone  to  give  him  instruction.  At  last  he  was  delivered  from 
this  state  of  mind  and  obtained  peace  in  believing. 

An  old  Scotch  divine,  on  being  asked  for  the  "  best  evidence 
of  a  gracious  state,"  promptly  replied,  "  forty  years  close  walk 
with  God."  Our  venerable  friend  bore  this  testimony,  unques- 
tioned by  every  class  of  persons  who  knew  him,  for  fifty  years. 
At  that  period  he  was  on  Broad  River  and  joined  a  Methodist 
class  under  the  preaching  of  John  Major  and  Thos.  Humphries, 
who  first  introduced  Methodism  into  that  part  of  South  Caro- 
lina. After  this  he  made  a  voyage  to  his  native  country,  saw 
a  beloved  sister  who  was  living,  and  received  a  little  legacy  left 
by  his  pious  mother  with  her  dying  benediction.  It  was  his 
wages  while  on  the  seas,  which  he  had  given  orders  to  be  sent 

second  son,  Noah  W.,  who  held  the  position  continuously  for  thirty-four  years,  retir- 
ing in  1873  to  accept  the  presidency  of  the  First  'National  Bank  of  Springfield,  Ilk, 
a  position  he  held  until  his  death,  April  30,  187^.  His  eldest  son,  Dr.  L.  D. 
Matheny,  a  physician  of  bright  promise,  died  before,:his  father,  in  1837.  The  third 
son,  Hon.  James  H.  Matheny,  is  at  the  present  lime  county  judge  of  Sangamon 
County,  having  been  elected  for  three  successive  terms,  by  an  almost  unanimous  vote. 
Judge  Matheny  was  a  member  of  the  constkutional  convention  of  1847,  and  a  col- 
league of  Ninian  W.  Edwards  and  Stephen  T.  Logan;  he  was  also  lieut. -colonel  of 
the  i3Oth  Illinois  Infantry  during  the  war  of  the  Rebellion.  The  fourth  son,  Charles 
W.  Matheny,  was  engaged  in  mercantile  business  for  many  years  in  Springfield,  and 
was  ah>o  president  of  the  First-  National  Bank  of  that  city  at  the  time  of  his  death, 
April  1 6,  1879.  The  youngest  son,  E.  Cook  Matheny,  is  connected  with  the  U.  S. 
revenue  department  as.a  gauger,  a  position  he  has  acceptably  filled  for  many  years. 
The  family,  'in  its  numerous  descendants  from  Mr.  Matheny's  five  sons  and  three 
married,  daughters,  is  one  which  has  maintained  the  reputation  of  their  lamented 
progenitor,  socially  and  morally  as  well  as  politically. — J.  H.  G. 


her.  He  visited  London,  heard  Rev.  John  Wesley  preach,  be- 
came more  confirmed  in  his  peculiar  doctrines,  returned  to 
South  Carolina  and  entered  the  ministry  of  the  Methodist- 
Episcopal  church,  was  received  on  trial  in  1791,  and  com- 
menced traveling  the  circuit.  In  two  years  he  was  admitted 
in  full  connection  and  ordained  to  that  order  of  their  ministry 
called  deacon. 

Being  conscientiously  opposed  to  slavery  and  not  satisfied 
with  the  government  of  the  Methodist- Episcopal  church,  he 
withdrew  from  the  traveling  connection  in  an  orderly  manner 
in  1796,  traveled  on  foot  to  Kentucky,  and  there  for  several 
months  made  it  his  home  with  Elder  Jolliff,*  a  Baptist  preacher 

*  Elder  Abner  Jolliff,  who  lived  and  died  in  Barren  Co.,  Ky.,  was  born  in  Green- 
brier  Co.,  Va.,  and  came  of  an  old  English  family  of  Norman  descent,  who  settled 
in  Virginia  in  the  seventeenth  century;  his  four  sons,  Abner,  Richard,  James,  and 
Elijah,  and  three  daughters,  Rachel,  Elizabeth,  and  Jehoida,  emigrated  to  Illinois  in 
early  days  and  settled  in  Jefferson,  Clinton,  Marion,  and  Washington  counties,  where 
they  now  have  a  large  number  of  descendants. 

Abner,  the  oldest  son,  in  1824,  settled  about  three  miles  north  of  the  present  town 
of  Richview,  Washington  Co. ;  raised  a  large  family,  nearly  all  now  dead;  his  son, 
Richard,  was  somewhat  noted  as  a  Baptist  preacher  of  promise,  and  died  young. 

Richard,  the  second  son,  settled  the  same  year  near  by  his  brother,  both  being  on 
the  old  Vincennes  trace;  raised  a  large  family,  and  his  son  Jacob,  born  on  the  claim 
the  first  year  of  the  sojourn  of  the  family  in  this  State,  yet  -owns  and  occupies  the 
old  homestead,  one  of  the  finest  farms  in  Southern  Illinois.  Elizabeth,  his  oldest 
daughter,  married  an  Englishman  named  Edward  Russell;  their  sons,  Thomas  and 
J.  K.  Russell,  are  well-known  citizens  of  Washington  County.  Martha,  his  second 
daughter,  married  Reece  Williams,  and  raised  a  large  family,  and  surviving  her  hus- 
band, now  lives  in  Texas  with  her  children.  James  E.,  the  oldest  son,  lives  near 
Fort  Scott,  and  was  a  soldier  in  the  Mexican  war  in  Capt.  Coffee's  company  of  Col. 
Bissell's  regiment  (2d)  111.  Vols.  Aaron,  the  second  son,  lived  and  died  near  the 
old.  home  farm  in  Washington  Co.;  was  a  soldier  in  Co.  E,  I4th  Reg't  U.-S.  InPy, 
during  the  Mexican  war.  His  daughter,  Mrs.  T.  B.  Affleck,  resides  in  Richview. 
Abner,  the  third  son,  was  drowned  when  a  young  man,  in  crossing  Grand-Point 
Creek  when  the  stream  was  in  a  swollen  condition.  Richard,  the  fourth  son,  mar- 
ried Elizabeth  Taylor,  daughter  of  Press.  Taylor,  a  well-known  pioneer  of  Washing- 
ton Co. ;  was  a  soldier  in  the  war  of  the  Rebellion  in  Co.  B,  6ad  111.  Infantry,  and 
died  at  Pine  Bluff,  Ark.,  August  2,  1864.  Jacob,  the  fifth  son,  the  youngest  and 
only  surviving  member  of  his  father's  large  family,  was  born  Feb.  5>  '825,  on  the 
farm  he  now  lives  on  and  owns,  one  mile  south  of  Irvington,  Washington  Co.,  at 
the  crossing  of  the  Illinois-Central  Railroad  over  the  old  Vincennes  and  Kaskaskia 
"trace";  married  Elizabeth  Willard,  and  has  a  family  of  four  sons  and  one  daugh- 
•ter,  who  have  all  survived  their  mother. 

Col.  James,  the  third  son,  settled  about  1828  on  Crooked  Creek,  Clinton  Co.,  a 
few  miles  s.-w.  of  the  present  city  of  Centralia,  and  built  a  water-mill,  about  1830, 


and  father  to  Col.  James.Jolliff  of  Marion  County,  Illinois.  His 
peregrinations  were  made  on  foot — the  mode  in  which  he  trav- 
eled his  circuits  in  South  Carolina — and  in  this  way  he  arrived 
in  Illinois  in  1797.  Here  he  preached  with  great  acceptance 

on  that  stream  near  the  site  of  Sherwood's  horse-mill,  erected  in  1817;  was  a  Vir- 
ginia soldier  in  the  war  of  1812,  and  with  his  brother-in-law,  James  Rhea,  served 
with  Perry  on  Lake  Erie,  being  among  the  contingent  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  men- 
furnished  by  Gen.  Harrison  to  Com.  Perry  to  complete  the  crews  in  his  fleet;  and 
were  both  afterward  engaged  in  the  battle  of  the  Thames,  Sept.  17,  1813,  where  the 
celebrated  Indian  chief,  Tecumseh,  was  killed.  They  were  both  celebrated  Indian 
fighters  in  the  early  days  of  the  Northwest.  Col.  Jolliff  was  twice  married  and  left 
numerous  descendants.  His  oldest  son  was  Jackson  JolliflF.  Reuben  W.  Jolliff, 
his  second  son,  was  captain  of  Co.  G,  mth  111.  Infy,  in  the  war  of  the  Rebellion, 
his  younger  brother,  Samuel  A.,  being  second  lieutenant  of  the  same  company,  who, 
with  his  brother  Abner,  are  now  living  in  Patoka,  Marion  Co.  Col.  Jolliff 's  daugh- 
ter, Elizabeth,  married  E.  Orvis,  and  lives  near  the  old  Jolliff  mill  in  Clinton  Co., 
where  they  have  raised  a  numerous  family.  Another  son,  Elijah,  served  in  Co.  B, 
62d  111.  Vol.  Infy,  in  the  Rebellion,  and  died  at  Pine  Bluff,  Ark.,  July  28,  1864. 

Elijah,  fourth  son,  settled  in  Jefferson  Co.  in  the  spring  of  1825;  had  previously 
married  in  Kentucky  and  had  several  children;  was  accidentally  killed,  Christmas, 
1832,  at  the  home  of  in  Jefferson  Co.  and  by  his  nephew,  Capt.  James  Rhea — a 
tow  wad  from  a  Christmas  gun  severing  the  femoral  artery.  Of  his  sons,  Randall 
and  William,  and  his  daughter  Elizabeth,  married  to  James  Willard,  live  in  Oregon- 
Co.,  Mo.  Elijah  Jolliff,  his  third  son,  lives  near  Irvington,  Washington  Co. 

Rachel,  the  oldest  daughter,  born  in  Greenbrier  Co.,  Va.,  Oct.  16,  1783,  married 
Nov.  20,  1801,  James  Rhea,  born  in  the  same  county,  June  3,  1780;  moved  to  Bar- 
ren Co.,  Ky.,  had  ten  children;  then  moved  to  Jefferson  Co.,  111.,  to  the  old  Rhea 
place,  four  miles  northeast  of  Richview,  in  1824,  where  their  youngest  child,  Thos. 
F.,  was  born,  July  27;  in  1827,  Jas.  Rhea  and  most  of  his  family  moved  to  Island- 
Grove  township  in  Sangamon  Co.,  where  he  died  in  1843,  h's  widow  in  1851,  Of 
their  children  the  oldest  was  Elizabeth,  born  in  1802,  in  Barren  Co.,  Ky.,  and  mar- 
ried there  to  George  May;  emigrated  from  thence  with  their  parents  first  to  Jeffer- 
son Co.,  then  to  Sangamon,  moved  afterward  to  Mason  Co.,  where  she  died;  her 
husband  and  children  then  moved  to  Gentry  Co.,  Mo.  The  oldest  son  was  James, 
who  was  born  Aug.  27,  1804;  married  in  Jefferson  Co.,  111.,  in  1826,  Susan  Mattox; 
was  a  soldier  in  Capt.  Bowman's  company  in  the  Black-Hawk  war;  a  captain  of 
militia  in  1832-3;  after  killing  his  uncle  accidentally  in  1832,  moved  near  Little 
Rock,  Ark.,  in  the  fall  of  1834,  and  died  there  in  1840,  leaving  a  widow  and  three 
children.  William,  the  second  son,  born  March  10,  1807;  married  Dec.  II,  1828, 
Susan  Foutch,  in  Sangamon  Co. ;  had  twelve  children,  nine  of  whom  lived  to  matu- 
rity, and  died  Feb.  8,  1860;  his  widow  lives  near  New  Berlin,  111.  Richard,  the 
third  son,  born  Jan.  14,  1809;  married  to  Eliza  Rhea  and  had  three  children;  when 
he  died,  his  widow  married  William  Etheridge,  and  moved  to  Iowa.  Jehoida,  born 
Oct.  II,  1813;  married  in  Sangamon  Co.,  John  Foutch,  in  1827,  and  had  four  chil- 
dren, and  died  about  fifty  years  ago.  Rachel  died  at  the  age  of  ten.  John,  born 
July  14,  1817;  married  Nov.  14,  1839,  Julia  A.  Stark,  born  June  21,  1823,  in  Rut- 
land, Vt. ;  they  had  seven  children,  and  with  their  children  and  descendants,  live 


among  various  classes  of  the  people  in  the  settlements  about 
New  'Design  and  the  American  Bottom  ;  formed  one  or  more 
classes  and  taught  the  children  and  young  men  in  science  and 
literature.  Of  his  first  pupils,  several  are  yet  living  and  hold 

near  New  Berlin,  Sangamon  Co.  Mahala,  born  April  25,  1820;  married  in  Sanga- 
mon  Co.,  Joseph  Pulsifer;  had  twin  sons,  Nevo  and  Nevi,  who  are  married  and 
live  in  Gentry  Co.,  Mo.;  their  mother  died  soon  after  their  birth,  and  their  father 
disappeared,  it  is  thought  was  murdered  for  money  while  on  a  business  trip  to  St. 
Louis.  Mary  A.,  born  Oct.  27,  1822;  died  April  28,  1851;  married  E.  R.  Alsbury;. 
had  one  child,  Lucinda,  who  married  James  Snuff.  Thomas  F.  Rhea,  the  youngest 
son,  born  in  Jefferson  Co.;  married  Oct.  3,  1844,  Lucinda  Wilcox;  has  five  children 
living,  all  daughters;  is  a  stock-raiser  and  dealer  at  New  Berlin,  Sangamon  Co. 

Elizabeth,  second  daughter,  is  a  most  noted  pioneer  matron  of  Southern  Illinois;: 
was  born  in  Greenbrier  Co.,  Va.,  about  1803,  and  is  now  over  eighty  years  of  age; 
was  married  in  Virginia  to  John  Faulkner,  a  member  of  the  celebrated  family  of 
that  ilk  which  has  furnished  to  Virginia  many  able  men,  one  of  whom  was  governor 
of  that  State;  shortly  after  their  marriage,  they  removed  to  Kentucky  and  afterward 
to  Illinois,  settling  near  her  brothers,  Abner  and  Richard,  in  1830,  when  Mr.  Faulk- 
ner soon  afterward  erected  a  horse-mUl,  which  furnished  the  settlers  in  that  region 
their  bread  for  many  a  year.  This  couple  raised  a  numerous  and  historic  family, 
and  the  husband  and  father  died  in  1853.  Mrs.  Faulkner  still  lives  with  her  son 
Abner  on  her  old  homestead,  where  her  family  of  thirteen  were,  some  of  them,  bora 
and  all  raised  to  maturity.  John,  the  oldest  son,  was  a  Baptist  preacher,  and  died 
young.  Katharine,  the  oldest  daughter,  married  Matthew  Pate,  and  died  many 
years  ago;  her  son,  John  Pate  of  Jefferson  Co.,  is  a  well-known  lawyer,  who  for- 
merly resided  at  Richview.  Richard,  the  second  son,  died  some  years  before  the 
war,  leaving  a  family.  Aaron  also  reared  a  family  on  Grand  Point,  and  died  some 
years  ago.  Elizabeth  married  L.  B.  Baldwin,  who  live  at  Irvington  and  have  raised 
a  large  and  interesting  family,  among  whom  is  R.  D.  Baldwin,  a  successful  farmer 
of  Irvington  township.  Gilbert,  the  fourth  son,  was  a  soldier  in  Capt.  Coffee's  Co. 
A,  Col.  Bissell's  regiment  (2d  111.),  in  the  Mexican  war,  and  now  lives  near  the  old 
homestead  in  Washington  Co.  Margaret  married  Meg.  Taylor  and  lives  in  Kansas. 
James,  the  fifth  son,  died  before  the  late  war,  although  married,  he  left  no  descend- 
ants; was  of  large  stature,  as  were  all  of  the  Faulkner  and  Jolliff  families.  Abner, 
the  sixth  son,  was  a  soldier  in  Co.  B,  62d  111.  Vol.  Infy,  and  lives  with  his  family 
at  the  old  homestead,  a  mile  south  of  Irvington,  on  the  Illinois-Central  Railroad, 
and  cares  for  his  aged  mother.  Alexander,  the  seventh  son,  who  was  first-sergeant 
in  Co.  B,  6ad  111.  Vol.  Inf'y,  in  the  war  of  the  Rebellion,  lives  near  and  has  a  wife 
and  several  children.  Charles  J.,  the  youngest  son,  was  also  a  soldier  in  the  war  of 
the  Rebellion,  in  Co.  F  of  the  44th  111.  InPy,  and  died  since  the  war.  Angeline 
married  Clark  W.  Mitchell,  a  soldier  in  Co.  B,  62d  111.  Inf'y,  and  with  her  husband 
lives  near  Irvington.  Caroline,  the  youngest  daughter,  married  Jackson  Trout,  and 
died  a  few  years  since  in  Irvington,  where  her  husband  still  resides. 

Jehoida,  the  youngest  daughter,  married  Enoch  Holsclaw  in  Kentucky,  and  after- 
ward removed  to  Illinois,  settling  near  Mt.  Vernon  in  Jefferson  Co.,  from  whence  they 
again  removed  to  Clinton  Co.,  near  the  town  of  Central  City,  where  both  died  many- 
years  ago,  leaving  numerous  descendants. — J.  H.  G. 


the  memory  of  Father  Clark,  as  he  was  familiarly  called,  as  pre- 
cious. Among  those  who  are  indebted  to  him  for  their  educa- 
tion are  those  venerable  men  of  this  county:  Robert  Lemen, 
Esq.,  once  marshal  under  the  territorial  government,  and  Rev. 
Joseph  and  James  Lemen. 

At  that  period,  Missouri,  called  Upper  Louisiana,  was  under 
the  dominion  of  Spain  and  of  course  the  Roman- Catholic 
religion  only  was  sustained  and  tolerated  by  law.  But  the 
commandants  and  other  officers,  being  disposed  to  encourage 
emigration  from  the  United  States  to  that  country,  permitted 
Protestants,  after  a  vague  and  general  examination,  as  a  mere 
matter  of  form,  to  settle  in  that  country,  and  large  numbers 
had  expatriated  themselves  to  obtain  grants  of  land.  It  is  but 
just  to  the  memories  of  these  people  to  state  that  a  presenti- 
ment existed  in  their  minds  that  the  country  would  come  under 
the  American  government  and  they,  or  at  least  their  children, 
would  enjoy  equal  rights. 

Father  Clark  was  the  first  preacher  of  the  gospel  to  cross  the 
Mississippi  and  to  preach  to  the  American  people  there.  This 
was  in  1798.  His  excursions  were  regular  and  frequent,  during 
which  he  would  spend  from  two  to  three  weeks.  There  were 
three  settlements  which  he  visited :  one  near  the  Spanish  Pond, 
north  of  St.  Louis,  one  near  Owen's  Station,  now  Bridgeton,  and 
the  other  on  Feef 's  Creek.  He  was  a  man  of  singular  sim- 
plicity of  manners,  unaffected  piety,  and  wholly  disinterested, 
and  took  no  pains  to  conceal  his  visits  or  his  object  in  the 
Spanish  country.  The  late  Zenoe  Trudeau,  commandant  at 
St.  Louis,  knew  his  character,  his  habits,  and  his  purpose  in 
crossing  the  river.  He  was  friendly  to  the  American  residents 
and  not  disposed  to  molest  them ;  but  he  must  make  a  show  of 
enforcing  the  laws  and  about  the  time  Clark's  appointments 
were  finished,  he  would  send  a  threatening  message  into  the 
country  that  Mr.  Clark  must  leave  the  Spanish  territory  or  he 
would  put  him  in  the  calabozo — the  prison.  No  personal  moles- 
tation was  ever  offered. 

At  a  subsequent  period,  when  the  laws  of  the  United  States 
were  extended  there  and  settlements  greatly  enlarged,  he  made 
his  home  on  that  side  of  the  river,  but  continued  his  visits  to 
Illinois  during  his  life,  which  terminated  in  1833,  at  the  age  of 


seventy-five  years.  Early  in  the  present  century,  he  became  a 
Baptist  and  subsequently  was  connected  with  that  class  who 
were  termed,  from  their  opposition  to  slavery,  "  Friends  to 

Among  the  early  pioneers  of  Methodism  in  this  territory,  the 
late  Rev.  Jesse  Walker  deserves  a  conspicuous  place.  His 
birthplace  was  the  vicinity  of  Petersburg,  Va.,  but  his  youth  was 
spent  in  North  Carolina,  where  he  was  accustomed  to  labor  on 
a  farm.  This  was  in  a  settlement  of  wealth,  aristocratic  and 
irreligious  people,  where  the  Sabbath  was  spent  in  amusement 
and  excursions  to  other  settlements.  It  was  while  on  such  an 
excursion  he  heard  a  Methodist  preacher,  whose  pungent  exhor- 
tations arrested  his  conscience  and  went  to  his  heart.  After 
some  two  or  three  weeks  of  agonizing  distress,  he  obtained 
relief  and  rejoiced  in  the  forgiveness  of  his -sins.  He  imme- 
diately joined  a  Methodist  class,  became  an  efficient  member, 
then  a  leader  and  exhorter,  and  soon  after  a  laborious  and  suc- 
cessful local  preacher.  He  was  received  on  trial  by  the  Western 
Conference,  held  at  Cumberland,  Tennessee,  in  October,  1802; 
ordained  deacon  and  performed  circuit  duties  on  the  borders  of 
that  State  and  Kentucky  four  years. 

He  was  emphatically  a  pioneer,  continually  advancing  into 
new  settlements  that  were  unprovided  with  gospel  administra- 
tions; for  in  1806,  by  his  own  request,  he  was  sent  to  Illinois, 
and  the  same  year  Rev.  John  Travis  was  sent  to  Upper  Louis- 
iana, as  Missouri  was  then  called,  being  the  first  circuit  preacher 
sent  into  that  field  by  the  Conference.  The  next  year  Mr. 
Walker  returned  two  hundred  and  twenty  members  from  Illi- 
nois, including  a  society  of  twenty  on  Coldwater  in  St.  Louis 
County.  This  was  a  gain  of  eighty  in  Illinois  in  one  year 
under  his  labors. 

It  was  in  the  summer  of  1807  that  the  late  Bishop  McKen- 
dree,  whose  name  has  been  perpetuated  in  the  Methodist  col- 
.lege  at  Lebanon,  made  his  first  visit  to  this  territory,  and  as 
presiding-elder,  with  Mr.  Walker  for  an  assistant  in  preaching, 
held  two  camp- meetings :  one  in  Goshen  Settlement,  near 
Edwardsville,  and  the  other  at  Shiloh,  six  miles  northeast  from 
Belleville,  where  a  log-house  was  erected  for  a  chapel.  This 
was  the  first  meeting-house  and  these  were  the  first  camp-meet- 
ings in  Illinois. 


From  1813,  Rev.  Jesse  Walker  was  presiding-elder  in  the  Illi- 
nois district  and  continued  in  that  department  in  this  territory 
until  near  the  period  of  the  close  of  this  history.  His  residence 
was  in  Alexander's  Settlement,  as  then  called,  seven  miles 
northeast  from  Belleville. 

Of  the  Methodist  pioneer  preachers  in  the  traveling  connec- 
tion, before  the  organization  of  the  State  government,  who  fol- 
lowed successively  on  the  circuit,  or  who  were  local  preachers, 
our  information  is  too  imperfect  to  follow  the  line  accurately, 
Rev.  John  Scripps,  now  living  in  Illinois,  then  a  young  preacher, 
accompanied  Mr.  Walker  on  his  round  as  presiding-elder  in 

Rev.  Jacob  Whiteside  of  this  county  commenced  the  ministry 
about  that  time,  and  Rev.  Josiah  Patterson  was  also  a  faithful 
laborer  in  the  settlements  near  the  Ohio  River.  Rev.  J.  Nowlen 
is  another  who  began  to  preach  about  that  time. 

In  1815,  there  were  four  circuits  in  Illinois,  called  Illinois, 
Okaw,  Massac,  and  Wabash.  Indiana,  west  of  a  meridian  line 
at  Madison,  and  Illinois  made  one  district,  over  which  Rev. 
Jesse  Walker  traveled  as  presiding-elder. 

Rev.  Abraham  Amos  came  to  Illinois  Territory  at  an  early 
period,  either  in  the  character  of  a  circuit  or  a  local  preacher. 
He  was  a  circuit  preacher  on  the  Mad-River  circuit,  Ohio,  then 
a  new  one,  in  1805.  He  was  appointed  a  member  of  the  legis- 
lative council  of  Illinois  Territory,  and  while  sustaining  that 
office,  died,  April  n,  1818,  much  respected  and  universally  re- 
gretted as  a  preacher,  a  Christian,  and  a  citizen. 

In  1816,  Rev.  John  Dew  arrived  in  Illinois  as  the  traveling 
companion  of  Bishop  McKendree  and  soon  proved  himself  to 
be  an  intelligent  and  successful  preacher.  The  General  Con- 
ference of  the  Methodist -Episcopal  church  had  divided  the 
Western  Conference  into  two  :  Tennessee  and  Ohio.  Tennes- 
see Conference  included  Arkansas,  Missouri,  Illinois,  and  Indi- 
ana to  the  meridian  of  Madison. 

This  year,  1816,  the  General  Conference  had  set  off  all  this 
field  into  another  conference,  called  Missouri,  and  its  first  ses- 
sion was  held  at  Shiloh,  commencing  September  23.  At  this 
meeting  Rev.  Samuel  H.  Thompson  appeared  for  the  first  time. 
He  had  traveled  a  circuit  in  Missouri  for  the  preceding  year. 


Mr.  Thompson  was  born  in  Westmoreland  County,  Pa.;  pro- 
fessed religion  and  joined  the  Methodists  in  Kentucky  in  1807; 
became  a  preacher  and  entered  the  traveling  connection  in 
1809.  He  was  married  in  February,  1816,  and  the  next 
autumn,  settled  at  Union  Grove,  south  of  Lebanon.  Mr. 
Thompson  became  a  prominent  and  useful  man  in  the  ministry. 

Among  the  local  preachers,  Rev.  Josiah  Randle  of  Edwards- 
ville  was  among  the  prominent  men  in  the  Methodist  ranks  in 
early  times,  and  for  many  years  clerk  of  Madison  County.  As 
the  first  Baptist  preacher  who  settled  in  the  country  we  have 
already  mentioned  David  Badgley,  who,  with  Joseph  Chance, 
constituted  the  first  church  in  the  territory.  Mr.  Badgley  was 
born  in  New  Jersey  in  1749;  removed  with  his  parents  to  Vir- 
ginia in  1768;  made  a  profession  of  religion,  and  was  baptized 
by  Elder  William  Marshall  in  1795,  and  a  few  years  after,  be- 
came a  preacher.  He  was  ordained  in  1795.  Mr.  Badgley 
aided  in  forming  a  number  of  churches  and  died  December  16, 
1824,  at  the  advanced  age  of  seventy-six.  His  descendants 
and  connections  are  numerous  in  this  county,  and  his  youngest 
son  is  now  one  of  the  justices  of  the  county-court. 

Elder  John  K.  Simpson  was  one  of  the  pioneer  Baptist 
preachers  in  Illinois.  He  was  a  native  of  England  and  born 
near  London,  October  2,  1759.  He  was  brought  up  an  Episco- 
palian; married  Ann  Rider;  removed  to  America  and  reached 
Vincennes  in  1788;  came  to  Kaskaskia  in  1789,  and  next  year 
settled  near  Bellefontaine.  He  was  a  religious  man  and  joined 
the  Methodist  class  under  Mr.  Lillard;  but  under  the  preaching 
of  Elder  David  Badgley,  he  became  a  Baptist  and  was  one  of 
the  fifteen  baptized  previous  to  the  constitution  of  the  church. 
He  took  an  active  part  in  church-meetings  and  social  worship; 
commenced  preaching  and  was  ordained,  probably,  about  1803. 
Some  may  have  deemed  him  too  rigid  and  not  sufficiently  for- 
bearing and  tender  of  the  imperfections  of  his  brethren ;  for  his 
name  occurs  frequently  on  the  old  book  of  records  in  connec- 
tion with  cases  of  discipline. 

His  decease,  January  11,  1806,  was  singular.  For  some  time 
previous,  he  told  his  brethren  and  friends  he  should  die  soon 
and  even  named  the  day.  A  little  time  before  his  death,  he 
visited  and  preached  to  Richland  church  and  bid  his  brethren 


farewell,  assuring  them  they  would  see  him  no  more  on  earth. 
He  complained  of  no  illness,  but  was  serious  and  devotional. 
A  short  time  after,  on  Sabbath  morning,  he  rode  ten  miles  from 
his  residence  to  the  house  of  Judge  Bond  in  the  American  Bot- 
tom; preached  with  much  power  and  effect  from  Rom.  viii,  14, 
and  died  the  same  evening  while  sitting  in  his  chair.  The  last 
words  he  uttered  were:  "Lord  Jesus,  thou  hast  promised  to 
save  me;  come  and  receive  my  spirit."  He  was  the  father  of 
Elder  Gideon  Simpson  of  this  [St.Clair]  county. 

Elder  Joseph  Chance,  already  mentioned,  was  born  in  the 
State  of  Delaware  in  1765.  His  father  died  when  he  was  a 
small  boy ;  his  mother  married  John  Gibbons  and  moved  to 
North  Carolina,  where  young  Chance  was  raised  without  much 
opportunity  for  education.  He  married  for  his  first  wife  Jemima 
Morris  and  moved  to  Kentucky,  where  he  professed  religion, 
was  baptized,  and  commenced  exhorting.  In  1794,  he  removed 
his  family  to  Illinois  and  became  connected  with  the  New- 
Design  church.  He  afterward  settled  in  Horse  Prairie,  where 
he  preached  to  a  little  society;  removed  and  settled  east  of 
Silver  Creek,  where  a  small  church  was  organized  in  1807. 

He  made  an  excursion  to  Indiana  and  while  there,  was 
ordained.  Mr.  Chance  was  not  a  man  of  great  talents,  but  he 
was  faithful  in  the  improvement  of  the  gifts  bestowed  upon 
him  ;  devoted  much  time  in  preaching  and  visiting  destitute 
settlements;  raised  a  large  family;  and  while  on  a  preaching 
tour,  died,  in  Washington  County,  Illinois,  April  20,  1840,  aged 
seventy-five  years.  • 

Among  the  good  men  and  ministers  in  the  Baptist  ranks,  we 
must  not  omit  Elder  William  Jones,  who  came  to  the  territory 
and  settled  near  Rattan's  Prairie,  east  of  Alton,  in  1806.  He 
was  born  in  North  Carolina,  but  professed  religion  and  entered 
the  ministry  in  East  Tennessee,  and  in  company  with  John 
Finlay,  another  pioneer,  came  to  this  region  to  do  good.  Be- 
fore the  war,  he  removed  to  Shoal  Creek,  but  the  Indians 
becoming  troublesome,  he  returned  to  Madison  County.  He 
was  a  preacher  of  moderate  abilities  and  was  moral,  grave, 
peaceable,  and  pious  in  his  habits.  He  represented  Madison 
County  in  the  legislature  one  term  and  died  at  his  residence, 
in  the  hope  of  eternal  life,  January  2,  1845,  aged  seventy- three 


The  name  of  James  Lemen,  Sr.,  has  been  mentioned  among 
the  early  pioneers  of  Illinois.  He  was  born  in  Berkeley  County, 
Virginia,  in  the  autumn  of  1760.  His  grandfather  was  an  emi- 
grant from  the  north  of  Ireland.  His  father  belonged  to  the 
Church  of  England,  a  branch  of  which  existed  by  law  in  Vir- 
ginia before  the  Revolutionary  war,  and  died  when  James  was 
a  year  old.  His  mother  married  again  and  he  was  raised  by  a 
strict  Presbyterian.  In  1777,  he  entered  the  army  under  Wash- 
ington ;  went  north  ;  was  in  the  action  of  White  Plains,  and 
continued  in  service  two  years,  when  he  was  discharged  and 
returned  to  Virginia.  He  then  went  to  the  vicinity  of  Wheel- 
ing, where  he  resided  for  a  time  and  married  Catharine  Ogle, 
daughter  of  Capt.  Joseph  Ogle,  already  noticed. 

There  are  some  amusing  traditions  among  their  descendants, 
relative  to  their  early  acquaintance.  Both  were  young,  moral 
persons,  religiously  educated,  and  early  and  simultaneously  be- 
came impressed  they  were  destined  for  each  other.  It  seems 
this  mutual  attachment  was  strong,  steady,  and  lasted  thro  life. 
Not  a  jar  in  feelings  or  an  unpleasant  word  ever  occurred  be- 
tween them. 

James  Lemen  was  a  rigidly  honest,  humane,  kind-hearted, 
and  benevolent  man;  independent  in  judgment,  very  firm  and 
conscientious  in  what  he  believed  right,  and  exhibited  much 
decision  of  character.  He  was  opposed  to  war  as  an  aggres- 
sive measure,  not  combative  or  cruel,  but  would  fight  like  a 
hero  when  impelled  by  a  sense  of  duty  in  defending  the  fron- 
tiers from  Indian  depredations.  He  followed  his  father-in-law 
to  the  Illinois  country  in  the  spring  of  17^5,  by  descending  the 
Ohio  River  in  a  flat-boat.  The  second  night  the  river  fell 
while  they  were  tied  to  the  shore,  and  his  boat  lodged  on  a 
stump,  careened  and  sunk,  by  which  accident  he  lost  his  pro- 
visions, chattels,  etc.  His  oldest  son,  Robert,  a  boy  of  three 
years  old,  floated  on  the  bed  on  which  he  lay,  which  his  father 
caught  by  the  corner  and  saved  his  life.  Tho  left  destitute  of 
provisions  and  other  necessaries,  James  Lemen  was  not  the  man 
to  be  discouraged.  He  had  energy  and  perseverance,  and  he 
got  to  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio  and  from  thence  up  the  Missis- 
sippi to  Kaskaskia,  where  he  arrived  July  10,  1786. 

The  Indians  caused  frequent  alarms,  provisions  and  all  other 


necessaries  of  living  were  scarce.  He  subsequently  settled  at 
New  Design,  on  the  old  hill-trace  from  St.  Louis  to  Kaskaskia, 
and  his  house  became  the  half-way  stopping- place  for  many 
years,  and  none  were  turned  away.  He  had  been  subject  to 
religious  impressions  from  his  childhood,  but  was  not  clear  in 
his  mind  to  make  a  profession  of  religion  until  James  Smith 
arrived  and  preached  to  the  people.  He  was  generous  and 
hospitable,  would  divide  corn  with  the  destitute,  observed  the 
Sabbath  strictly,  kept  perfect  order  in  his  family,  and  yet  was 
never  harsh  or  severe  with  his  children. 

He  was  an  acting  justice-of-the-peace  for  many  years  under 
the  territorial  government  and  for  a  time  one  of  the  judges  of 
the  county-court.  He  took  an  active  part  in  the  lead  of  religi- 
ous meetings  many  years  before  he  was  licensed  to  preach. 
He  was  an  opponent  to  slavery  both  from  principle  and  policy 
and  came  to  this  territory  to  live  in  a  free  country.  From  some 
strong  expressions  he  made  on  this  subject  while  preaching  at 
Richland  Church  in  1809,  which  ought  to  have  been  passed 
without  notice,  Larkin  Rutherford,  one  of  the  members,  tqok 
offence  and  brought  a  complaint  into -the  church  and  the  conse- 
quence was  an  illustration  of  the  Scriptures :  "  Behold  how 
great  a  matter  a  little  fire  kindleth."  The  little  church  became 
divided;  the  association  of  churches  also  divided,  and  the  issue 
was  three  parties  of  Baptists,  who  existed  for  ten  years  and  two 
parties  much  longer.  The  association  was  formed  in  1807,  of 
the  five  following  churches,  to  wit :  New  Design,  Mississippi 
Bottom,  Richland,  Wood  River,  and  Silver  Creek.  There  were 
three  ordained  preachers  and  sixty-two  members  in  these 
churches.  At  the  division  of  1809,  there  were  ten  churches,  of 
which  three  were  in  Missouri,  eight  ordained  preachers,  two  in 
Missouri,  four  licentiates,  and  four  hundred  communicants  of 
the  three  parties  of  Baptists,  including  six  churches  on  the 
eastern  and  southeastern  parts  of  the  territory. 

Presbyterians. — At  the  date  of  the  constitution  in  1818,  there 
was  no  Presbyterian  minister  residing  in  the  State,  nor  had  there 
teen  a  church  organized  in  this  part  of  the  State.  One  or  two 
small  churches  had  been  constituted  in  the  southeastern  part  of 
the  State  under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Presbytery  of  West, 
now  Middle,  Tennessee.  Two  Presbyterian  missionaries  from 


the  general  assembly  of  the  Presbyterian  church  had  visited 
the  territory  and  preached  at  Kaskaskia,  Shawneetown,  and 
other  settlements. 

In  1814,  Rev.  Messrs.  Samuel  J.  Miles  and  Daniel  Smith, 
Congregationalists  from  New  England,  performed  an  exploring 
mission  thro  the  Southwestern  States  and  territories,  with  a 
twofold  object:  providing  for  the  distribution  of  the  Scriptures 
to  the  destitute  and  future  missionary  labors.  They  were  at 
St.  Louis  November  7,  at  Kaskaskia  on  the  I2th,  and  Shawnee- 
town after  New-Year,  on  their  way  down  the  Ohio  and  Missis- 
sippi to  New  Orleans. 

A  subscription  was  started  to  form  a  Bible  society  at  New 
Design  and  Kaskaskia,  to  which  the  names  of  James  Lemen, 
Sr.,  James  Lemen,  Jr.,  Gov.  Edwards,  Nathaniel  Pope,  and 
many  other  gentlemen  then  living  in  Illinois  were  appended, 
with  subscriptions  of  five  dollars  and  under  for  the  object. 
Nearly  one  hundred  dollars  were  subscribed  ;  but  it  appears 
they  never  organized  or  paid  their  subscriptions.  At  that 
period,  Bibles  and  school-books  were  very  scarce  and  not  to 
be  obtained  without  sending  to  the  Atlantic  cities.  Another 
similar  but  ab3rtive  effort  to  form  a  Bible  society  was  made  at 
Shawneetown  in  1816;  a  constitution  adopted  and  directors 
chosen,  which  failed  from  lack  of  a  little  further  effort. 

The  late  John  Messinger,  who  was  a  philanthropist  as  well  as 
mathematician,  tho  never  a  member  of  any  church,  obtained 
subscribers  for  the  quarto  family  Bibles,  published  by  Matthew 
Carey  of  Philadelphia  in  1814,  and  circulated  copies  in  many 
families  in  St.  Clair  County.  Mr.  Messinger  taught  many  young 
men  the  theory  and  practice  of  surveying  and  he  frequently 
taught  an  evening-school  for  young  and  old;  and  it  is  no  dis- 
paragement to  some  gentlemen,  who  have  since  been  distin- 
guished in  the  State,  at  the  bar,  and  in  the  pulpit,  to  have  it- 
known  that  they  received  the  ground-work  of  their  education, 
after  they  had  families,  from  Mr.  Messinger. 

There  was  a  small    colony  of  Tunkers  and    Dunkers,  whey* 
settled  in  Union  County  and  had  a  preacher  of  their  ownVin 
early  times. 

I  will  close  this  protracted  sketch  by  a  brief  description  of 
the  manners  and  customs  of  the  American  pioneers  I  have 


noticed.  They  were  rough  in  personal  appearance  and  unre- 
fined, yet  kind,  social,  and  generous.  They  were  hunters  and 
stock-growers;  and  confined  their  agricultural  operations  chiefly 
to  corn  and  a  small  amount  of  wheat.  They  were  brave,  prompt, 
and  decided  in  war,  yet  liberal  and  magnanimous  to  a  subdued 
foe.  They  showed  great  energy  and  a  just  spirit  of  enterprise 
in  removing  from  five  to  fifteen  hundred  miles  into  a  wilderness 
country  and  pioneering  out  the  way  for  the  future  prosperity  of 
their  descendants.  They  were  hospitable,  generous,  and  ready 
to  share  with  their  neighbors  or  newly-arrived  strangers  their 
last  loaf.  They  were  guided  by  Providence,  preserved  amidst 
dangers,  sickness,  and  savage  assaults,  and  thus  became  the 
pioneers  of  civilization,  the  founders  of  a  free  government,  and 
the  extension  of  pure  Christianity.  They  turned  the  wilder- 
ness into  a  fruitful  field  and  prepared  the  country  to  sustain  a 
more  dense  population  and  to  increase  in  wealth  and  prosperity. 

Their  habits  and  manners  were  plain,  simple,  and  unostenta- 
tious. Their  dwellings  were  log-cabins  of  the  rudest  and  most 
simple  structure.  Their  furniture  and  utensils  and  dress  were 
the  most  simple  and  economical  possible;  for  such  only  could 
be  obtained.  For  clothing,  dressed  deer-skins  were  extensively 
used  for  hunting-shirts,  pants,  leggins,  and  moccasons,  and  the 
red  skin  of  the  prairie-wolf  or  fox  was  a  substitute  for  the  hat 
or  cap.  Strips  of  buffalo-hide  were  used  for  ropes  and  traces 
and  the  dressed  skins  of  the  buffalo,  bear,  and  elk  furnished  the 
principal  covering  of  their  beds  at  night.  Wooden  vessels^ 
either  dug  out  or  coopered,  and  called  noggins,  were  in  common 
use  for  bowls,  out  of  which  each  member  of  the  family  atv.- 
mush  and  milk  for  supper.  A  gourd  formed  the  drinking-cup. 
Every  hunter  (and  all  the  men  were  hunters)  carried  his  knife 
in  his  girdle,  while  not  unfrequently  the  rest  of  the  family  had 
but  one  or  two  between  them.  If  a  family  chanced  to  have  a 
few  pewter  dishes  and  spoons,  knives  and  forks,  tin-cups  and 
platters,  it  was  in  advance  of  the  neighbors.  Corn  was  beaten 
for  bread  in  the  mortar,  ground  on  a  grater,  or  in  a  hand-mill. 

From  the  cession  of  the  country  by  Virginia  to  the  conti- 
nental congress  in  1784,  to  the  organization  of  the  county  of 
St.  Clair  by  the  government  of  the  Northwest  Territory  in  1790, 
there  was  in  fact  no  civil  government  in  existence  in  the  Illinois 


country ;  yet  the  people  were  a  law  unto  themselves.  Their 
morals  were  pure  and  simple;  the  grosser  vices  were  rare,  and 
there  was  very  little  use  for  the  administration  of  either  civil  or 
criminal  law.  Ardent  spirits,  that  outrage  upon  morals,  social 
order,  and  religion,  had  been  introduced  into  the  country  but 
in  small  quantities  before  the  commencement  of  the  present 
century.  Theft  and  other  crimes  against  the  peace  of  society 
were  rare  and  fraud  and  dishonest  dealings  seldom  practised. 

In  the  French  villages,  as  in  most  Catholic  countries,  the  Sab- 
bath was  a  day  of  hilarity  and  pleasure.  The  Catholic  popula- 
tion, being  principally  French,  attended  mass  in  the  morning 
and  practised  their  devotions  in  the  church;  and  in  the  after- 
noon, assembled  in  parties  at  private  houses  for  social  and 
merry  intercourse.  Cards,  dances,  and  various  sports  made  up 
the  pastime.  The  French  people  in  Illinois  in  those  times  were 
not  intemperate  in  eating  or  drinking  on  such  occasions.  The 
wealthier  classes  used,  moderately,  light-red  wines,  especially 
claret,  while  the  poorer  classes,  in  convivial  parties,  drank  tafia 
and  a  liquor  called  noyau.  I  have  often  heard  the  old  French 
settlers  deplore  the  habits  of  intoxication  and  other  vices) 
which,  as  they  fancied,  were  introduced  by  the  immigration  that 
came  after  1800.  But  old  men  always  imagine  the  morals  of 
the  people  grow  worse  and  fraud  and  dishonesty  increase  as 
they  advance  in  life. 


Illinois  under  the  Government  of  Indiana  Territory. 

THE  Northwest  Territory  being  so  large — extending  from 
the  shores  of  the  Mississippi  to  the  western  line  of  Pennsyl- 
vania, and  from  the  Ohio  to  the  lakes  and  the  northern  limits 
of  the  United  States — the  people  became  uneasy  and  restless 
in  their  situation..  One  other  consideration  was  that  Gen. 
St.  Clair,  the  governor  of  the  territory,  was  very  unpopular. 
The  whole  community,  for  various  and  for  different  reasons, 
was  anxious  for  a  change  in  the  government. 

The  Northwest  Territory  was  divided  May  7,  1800,  by  act  of 
congress  and  the  western  section  was  called  Indiana  Territory. 
The  eastern  boundary  of  Indiana  was  a  line  beginning  on  the 
Ohio,  opposite  the  mouth  of  Kentucky  River;  thence  to  Fort 
Recovery,  and  thence  to  the  northern  limits  of  the  United 
States.  Indiana  Territory  included  the  Illinois  country. 

William  Henry  Harrison  was  appointed  by  the  general  gov- 
ernment the  governor  of  the  territory.  He  was  born  twenty- 
five  miles  from  Richmond,  Va.,  February  9,  1773.  His  father, 
Benjamin  Harrison,  was  the  governor  of  Virginia  and  acted  a 
great  and  noble  part  in  the  Revolution. 

Young  Harrison  was  educated  at  Hampden  Sydney  College 
and  left  it  at  the  age  of  seventeen.  He  was  placed,  by  his  kind 
father,  the  governor  of  Virginia,  at  the  medical  college  in  Phila- 
delphia in  1790;  but  remained  there  not  a  long  time.  The 
defeat  of  Gen.  Harmar  in  the  West  and  the  excitement  to  sus- 
tain the  honor  of  the  stars  and  stripes  had  reached  the  young 
and  patriotic  heart  of  Harrison  in  Philadelphia.  The  eloquent 
entreaties  of  his  guardian  and  friend,  the  celebrated  Robert 
Morris  of  that  city,  had  no  effect  to  retain  him  to  the  study  of 
medicine.  The  mortar  and  pestle  were  exchanged  for  the  sweet 
music  of  the  drum  and  fife  and  he  became  a  soldier  in  the  war 
against  the  Northwestern  Indians.  He  urged  his  pretentions 



on  President  Washington  so  strong  that  he  was  appointed  an 
ensign  in  the  army  in  1791,  when  he  was  only  eighteen  years 
old.  He  repaired  to  the  West,  but  too  late  to  participate  in 
the  disastrous  defeat  of  St.  Clair,  November  4,  1791.  He  con- 
tinued in  the  army  and  was  aid-de-camp  to  Gen.  Wayne.  He 
was  in  all  the  active  military  operations  for  several  years  pre- 
vious to  the  celebrated  battle  of  Gen.  Wayne  against  the  Ind- 
ians, in  August,  1794.  In  this  engagement,  young  Harrison 
was  found  fighting  always  in  the  hottest  conflicts. 

After  the  treaty  at  Greenville  in  1795,  Capt.  Harrison — as  he 
had  been  promoted  to  that  office — was  left  in  command  at  Fort 
Washington,  the  site  of  the  present  City  of  Cincinnati,  where 
he  married  that  year  the  daughter  of  Judge  Symmes.  He 
then  left  the  army  and  turned  his  attention  to  civil  employment. 
At  twenty- four,  he  was  appointed  secretary  of  the  territory 
under  Gov.  St.  Clair.  He  executed  the  duties  of  this  office 
with  punctuality  and  honesty.  In  1799,  he  was  elected  by  the 
general  assembly  of  the  territory  to  the  office  of  delegate  to 
congress.  This  office  was  one  of  great  responsibility  and  the 
duties  onerous  and  interesting  to  all  the  country  northwest  of 
the  Ohio  River.  His  first  attention  was  imperiously  called  to 
the  subject  of  the  public  lands. 

A  heavy  emigration  commenced  to  the  territory  and  the 
public  domain  at  that  day  could  not  be  sold  in  less  tracts  than 
four  thousand  acres,  except  fractions  on  the  rivers.  To  poor 
settlers  the  land-system  was  a  curse  rather  than  a  blessing,  as  it 
is  at  this  day.  Harrison  was  appointed  chairman  of  the  com- 
mittee on  the  public  lands  in  the  house  of  representatives  and 
he  reported  a  bill,  which  passed  into  a  law,  authorizing  the  sale 
of  the  public  lands  in  tracts  of  three  hundred  and  twenty  acres. 
This  was  the  smallest  tract  that  could  be  sold  in  1800.  The 
new  law  required  one-fourth  paid  down  and  a  credit  given  for 
the  balance  of  one,  two,  three,  and  four  years.  This  was  con- 
sidered at  that  day  a  public  service  which  Harrison  performed 
in  congress,  of  the  greatest  importance  to  the  country. 

To  contrast  the  present  system  of  the  public  lands  with  that 
of  1800  and  before,  is  comparing  night  to  day.  Now  tracts  of 
forty  acres  may  be  sold,  and  before  1800,  not  less  than  four  thou- 
sand could  be  entered  by  any  settler.  The  passage  of  this  law 

2/8         •  PIONEER    HISTORY   OF   ILLINOIS. 

rendered  Harrison  extremely  popular.  He  also  obtained  the 
division  of  the  territory  and  was  appointed  governor  of  Indiana, 
which  is  narrated  above. 

Extraordinary  duties  were  imposed  on  Gov.  Harrison.  Be- 
sides the  ordinary  duties  of  a  governor  of  a  territory,  the  addi- 
tional and  important  trusts  of  the  general  agency  of  all  the 
Indians  and  the  duty  of  investigating  the  ancient  land-claims 
in  the  territory  were  also  confided  to  him.  More  treaties  with 
the  Indians  were  made  and  more  land  purchased  by  him  from 
them  than  by  any  other  man  in  America.  His  various  duties, 
civil  and  military,  required  much  energy  and  business  habits  in 
the  office  to  enable  him  to  perform  them.  These  extraordinary 
trusts  were  executed  with  much  ability  and  much  to  the  satis- 
faction of  the  people  and  the  government.  It  is  truly  astonish- 
ing, the  many,  the  various,  and  the  important  offices  which  Gen. 
Harrison  held  and  the  duties  of  them  he  performed.  His  mili- 
tary career  of  itself  would  fill  volumes,  and  his  civil  employ- 
ments were  numerous  and  highly  important  to  the  country. 

In  1791,  when  he  was  eighteen  years  old,  he  was  first,  ensign 
in  the  army;  then  secretary  of  the  Northwest  Territory;  dele- 
gate to  congress ;  governor  of  Indiana  and  superintendent  of 
Indian  affairs ;  commissioner  to  adjust  land-titles ;  major-gen- 
eral in  the  army;  a  farmer  in  the  North  Be'nd;  in  1824,  a  sena- 
tor in  congress ;  minister  to  Columbia,  South  America ;  then 
the  prothonotory  of  the  court  of  Hamilton  County,  at  Cincin- 
nati, the  county-seat ;  and  next,  the  president  of  the  United 

No  man  in  America  ever  filled  as  many  high  and  responsible 
offices  as  Harrison  did.  He  experienced  thro  life  a  continual 
scene  of  hurried  and  important  events,  and  nothing  in  it  of 
monotony.  It  is  the  events  in  a  life  that  makes  it  important 
and  conspicuous.  A  monotonous  life  has  but  two  events  in  it 
and  those  scarcely  worthy  of  notice — the  birth  and  death  of 
the  individual.  A  life  of  monotony  is  a  species  of  vegetation. 

Harrison  was  in  office  for  almost  half-a-century  and  at  last 
died  in  the  presidency — the  highest  station  known  to  man  on 
the  globe.  The  duties  of  these  offices  were  performed  in  a  new 
and  rising  community  in  the  West,  where  parts  of  almost  all 
nations,  kindreds,  and  tongues  were  assembled  together,  and  the 


duties  as  variant  as  the  population.  Under  all  these  events  and 
circumstances,  he  acted  well  his  part.  These  facts  demonstrate 
Harrison  to  be  no  ordinary  man;  but  at  the  same  time,  he  did 
not  possess  the  highest  order  of  intellect.  He  was  a  safe,  pru- 
dent, and  cautious  man  and  one  quality  he  enjoyed  in  an  emi- 
nent degree  and  that  was  exhibited  in  all  his  transactions,  public 
and  private — a  rigid  and  positive  regard  to  honesty  and  in- 
tegrity. This  part  of  his  character  was  tried  in  the  fiery  fur- 
nace of  party  politics  and  came  out,  like  Daniel  did  out  of  the 
den  of  lions,  unhurt. 

In  the  presidential  canvass  of  1840,  between  him  and  Van 
Buren,  he  did  not  encourage  those  disgraceful  proceedings  of 
hard  cider,  coons,  canoes,  etc.  He  had  been  in  the  presidency 
but  a  very  short  time,  and  died  at  Washington,  D.  C.,  April  4, 
1841.  His  death  was  truly  a  great  public  calamity  and  as  such 
the  community  regretted  and  mourned  his  decease. 

It  has  always  been  my  opinion  that  his  death  was  occasioned 
by  the  ardent  duties  of  the  office  and  the  host  of  office-seekers 
hovering  around  him  night  and  day  until  death  relieved  him 
from  the  importunities  of  these  vultures  for  office.  The  love  of 
God  and  his  country  were  in  his  heart  the  last  and  his  lips  gave 
utterance  to  these  sentiments  in  the  transit  from  earth  to  eter- 
nity. Almost  his  whole  life  was  spent  in  the  service  of  his 
country  and  the  last  efforts  he  made  when  death  was  upon  him 
was  in  praise  of  that  country. 

Harrison  possessed  an  extraordinary  energy  and  activity  in 
business.  He  was  very  moral  and  correct  in  his  habits  and  all 
his  energies  of  mind  and  body  were  preserved  for  the  service 
of  the  country.  He  possessed  in  an  eminent  degree  both  physi- 
cal and  moral  courage;  but  he  did  not  possess  that  high  order 
of  military  talents  to  command  that  under  almost  all  circum- 
stances ensures  success  and  victory  to  the  army.  He  was  plain 
and  unostentatious  in  his  manners  and  never  paid  much  atten- 
tion to  his  private  financial  affairs.  He  lived  and  died  in 
moderate  circumstances. 

Emigration  from  the  States  commenced  in  earnest  to  flow 
into  Illinois  after  the  division  of  the  territory  in  1800.  The 
American  and  even  the  French  settlements  began  to  extend 
throughout  the  western  section  of  Illinois.  Peace  and  plenty 


prevailed  in  every  section  of  the  country,  which,  together  with 
its  natural  advantages,  encouraged  immigration. 

In  this  year,  1800,  the  first  man,  Ephraim  Conner,  located 
himself  in  Goshen,  twenty  odd  miles  in  advance  of  the  settle- 
ments. His  settlement  was  made  in  the  American  Bottom, 
near  the  bluff  some  five  or  six  miles  southwest  from  the  present 
town  of  Edwardsville.  Col.  Judy  purchased  Connor  out  in 
1801;  lived  there  more  than  the  third  of  a  century,  and  died 
on  the  same  place. 

Rev.  David  Badgley  and  some  others,  in  1799,  explored  the 
country  at  present  embraced  in  the  county  of  Madison  and 
called  it  Goshen.  They  gave  it  this  name  on  account  of  the 
fertility  of  the  soil  and  consequent  luxuriant  growth  of  the 
grass  and  vegetation.  It  was,  in  truth,  a  land  of  promise,  and 
some  years  after  it  was  the  largest  and  best  settlement  in  Illi- 
nois. Goshen  Settlement,  so  called  in  ancient  times,  embraced 
about  all  the  territory  of  Madison  County  and  was  in  its  early 
life,  as  it  always  has  been,  a  compact,  prosperous,  and  happy 

A  small  impediment  to  the  growth  of  the  settlement  was  the 
killing  of  Dennis  and  Van  Meter  by  the  Indians  in  1802.  Tur- 
key Foot,  an  evil-disposed  and  cruel  chief  of  a  band  of  the 
Pottawatomie  Indians,  and  his  party,  returning  home  from 
Cahokia  to  their  towns  toward  Chicago,  met  Dennis  and  Van 
Meter  at  the  foot  of  the  Mississippi  Bluff,  about  five  miles 
southwest  of  the  present  town  of  Edwardsville.  The  country 
contained  at  that  day  very  few  inhabitants  above  Cahokia,  and 
Turkey  Foot,  seeing  the  Americans  extending  their  settlements 
toward  his  country,  caught  fire  at  the  spectacle  and  killed  these 
two  men.  These  Indians  may  have  been  intoxicated,  as  they 
were  frequently  drunk  when  they  were  trading  in  Cahokia. 
This  was  not  considered  war,  but  a  kind  of  Indian  depredation. 

The  first  two  white  men  that  settled  in  the  Six-Mile  Prairie, 
in  the  present  county  of  Madison,  were  Patrick  Hanniberry  and 
Wiggins.  The  latter  had  a  family,  but  Hanniberry  was  a  single 
man.  They  resided  together  in  1801,  near  the  present  residence 
of  William  Atkins.  This  settlement  was  called  the  Six-Mile 
Prairie,  because  it  was  six  miles  above  St.  Louis,  in  Upper 
Louisiana.  The  immigrants  to  the  country  were  mostly  from 


the  Western  and  Southern  States.  Very  few  Eastern  people 
or  Yankees  settled  in  Illinois  at  that  day.  The  Ohio  River  was 
the  main  channel  on  which  the  hardy  pioneers  reached  the 
country.  The  old  Fort  Massac  was  a  depot  for  immigrants. 
Almost  time  immemorial,  a  few  families  and  settlers  resided  in 
and  adjacent  to  the  fort. 

In  very  ancient  times,  a  military  road  was  opened  and 
marked,  each  mile  on  a  tree,  from  Massac  to  Kaskaskia.  The 
numbers  of  the  miles  were  cut  in  ciphers  with  an  iron  and 
painted  red.  Such  I  saw  them  in  1800.  This  road  made  a 
great  curve  to  the  north  to  avoid  the  swamps  and  rough  coun- 
try on  the  sources  of  Cash  River,  and  also  to  obtain  the  prairie 
country  as  soon  as  possible.  This  road  was  first  made  by  the 
French  when  they  had  the  dominion  of  the  country  and  was 
called  the  old  Massac  road  by  the  Americans.  A  road  also 
extended  from  Fort  Massac  to  Cape  Girardeau,  in  the  then- 
Spanish  country. 

In  olden  times,  two  great  crossing-places  on  the  Ohio  for  the 
immigrants  were  at  Lusk's  and  Miles'  ferries.  These  pioneers 
were  both  most  excellent,  worthy  men;  yet  they  had,  as  is  quite 
common,  a  rivalship  with  their  ferries.  The  ferry  of  Lusk  was 
opposite  the  present  town  of  Golconda,  Illinois,  and  that  of 
Miles  only  six  or  seven  miles  above. 

It  will  be  recollected  that  Nathaniel  Hull  descended  the  Ohio 
River  in  1780,  and  landed  at  a  place  on  the  Ohio  afterward 
known  as  Hull's  Landing.  Miles  established  his  ferry  near  it- 
Hull  had  opened  a  road  from  his  landing  to  Kaskaskia.  This 
road  did  not  intersect  the  Massac  road,  traveling  west  for  eighty 
miles,  altho  the  two  roads  were  only  a  few  miles  apart  at  any 
one  place  from  one  end  to  the  other.  Miles  adopted  Hull's  old 
trace  and  improved  it.  Many  wagons  and  much  travel  crossed 
at  these  rival  ferries  and  proceeeded  on  the  respective  roads  to- 
Illinois  and  to  the  Spanish  country. 

It  must  be  recollected  that  the  west  side  of  the  Mississippi 
was  known  as  the  Spanish  country  in  early  times,  while  the 
name  of  Louisiana  might  be  recognized  in  the  books,  but  not 
used  by  the  people  in  common  parlance.  In  these  times,  no 
four-wheeled  vehicles  traveled  the  road  from  Vincennes  to  Illi- 
nois. This  road  was  used  by  single  horses,  pack-horses,  and 


footmen  alone.  It  was  a  straight,  narrow  road,  mostly  traveled 
by  the  Indians  and  their  fair  sex  on  horseback,  without  the 
civilized  invention  of  side-saddles. 

The  Indians  are  somewhat  like  the  Arabs  in  their  migrations. 
They  travel  together  with  several  families,  more  or  less,  accord- 
ing to  circumstances.  They  have  their  summer  and  winter  resi- 
dences similar  to  the  gentry  of  large  cities;  but  for  different 
considerations.  These  natives  travel  with  all  their  wealth^ 
except  at  times  they  cache  some  articles  in  the  earth,  as  the 
French  call  it :  that  is,  they  hide  the  article  in  the  ground  until 
they  return.  A  family  or  a  caravan  of  traveling  Indians  would 
make  a  good  subject  for  a  painter.  These  moving  parties  are 
generally  going  or  returning  from  their  winter  hunting-grounds 
and  have  with  them  their  wives,  children,  dogs,  horses,  and  all 
their  assets  of  every  description.  Each  family  has  its  own 
organization  and  government.  In  the  evening  when  they  camp, 
the  females  do  all  the  work  in  making  the  camp,  fire,  etc.,  while 
their  lords  take  their  ease  in  smoking.  The  whole  Indian  race 
of  the  males  is  grave,  sedate,  and  lazy.  Some  may  go  out  to 
hunt  while  the  squaws  are  working.  They  generally  stop  early 
in  the  evening  to  prepare  for  the  night. 

This  traveling  with  the  Indians  is  a  living  as  much  as  if  they 
were  stationary  in  their  towns.  They  have  nothing  changed  in 
their  peregrinations,  only  a  very  short  distance  of  latitude  or 
longitude,  or  a  little  of  both,  on  the  surface  of  the  earth. 
Therefore  their  migrations  may  be  termed  traveling  residences. 
Under  this  system,  they  make  as  much  improvement  at  each 
camp  as  they  do  at  their  winter  hunting-grounds  or  in  their 
towns.  The  small  children  are  often  tied  on  the  horses'  backs 
to  pack-saddles,  so  they  can  not  fall  off;  the  still  younger  ones 
are  tied  on  boards,  and  while  traveling,  the  boards  are  sus- 
pended by  the  side  of  the  horse.  These  boards  answer  a  valu- 
able purpose  to  the  Indians  in  traveling  as  well  as  at  home. 
They  are  light  and  nicely  made;  are  longer  than  the  child  and 
some  wider.  A  hoop  of  strong  hickory  wood  is  bent  over  the 
face  of  the  papoose  and  the  ends  made  fast  in  the  plank. 
Holes  are  pierced  in  the  edges  of  the  board,  thro  which  straps 
are  passed  to  secure  the  bed  and  the  child  fast  to  the  plank. 
Blankets  and  other  clothes  are  placed  between  the  infant  and 


the  wood  and  likewise  around  the  small  one;  so  that  it  and  its 
bed  are  safely  and  securely  made  fast  to  the  board.  The  hoop 
is  often  covered  with  a  cloth  or  small  piece  of  a  blanket,  so  that 
the  child  is  perfectly  at  its  ease  and  safe  from  external  violence. 
At  the  end  of  the  board  a  strap  is  passed  thro  a  hole  and  the 
ends  tied  together.  When  the  squaws  are  busy,  they  hang  the 
boards  and  children  up  out  of  the  way  from  a  limb  of  a  tree; 
so  the  infants  are  safe  while  the  mothers  do  the  work.  Some- 
times they  lean  the  board  and  child  against  a  tree  or  post  for 
safe-keeping.  This  is  better  for  the  child  than  sleeping  in  a 
cradle.  Children  placed  on  these  boards  grow  straight,  which 
is  the  reason  the  Indians  are  generally  more  erect  than  white 

The  Indians,  in  their  diet,  are  not  fastidious  or  tasty.  They 
display  no  unfriendly  feelings  to  dirt  or  filth.  When  they  kill 
a  deer  or  buffalo,  the  choice  parts  are  the  entrails  and  they  labor 
not  much  to  discharge  from  this  delicacy  the  inner  substance. 
They  throw  these  entrails  on  the  coals  and  eat  them  when  they 
are  barely  warm.  They  often  pack  their  meat,  in  their  jour- 
neys, by  running  a  tug -rope  thro  each  piece,  which  is  cut  six 
or  seven  inches  square,  and  tying  the  tug  to  the  saddle,  the 
meat  is  suspended  on  the  side  of  the  horse,  exposed  to  flies, 
dirt,  etc.  In  their  journeys,  the  males  mostly  ride  and  make 
the  females  walk.  The  manner  in  which  the  females  are  treated 
in  any  country  is  an  exact  index  to  the  barbarity  or  civilization 
of  the  community. 

There  are  no  Indian  nations  so  barbarous  and  ignorant  that 
they  have  not  some  notion  of  a  Supreme  Being.  They  all  be- 
lieve in  a  Great  Spirit,  "the  master  of  life,"  as  they  term  it. 
They,  for  the  most  part,  believe  also  in  a  bad  spirit  as  well  as  a 
good  one.  They  perform  their  devotions  to  both  powers,  to 
court  their  friendship  or  to  appease  their  anger.  They  believe 
in  a  future  state  of  existence  and,  of  course,  in  the  immortality 
of  the  soul.  They  also  believe  in  rewards  for  virtue  and  punish- 
ment for  crimes  committed  on  earth.  Guns  and  other  articles 
and  even  at  times  their  horses  are  buried  with  the  dead  to 
enable  them  to  go  to  and  hunt  in  the  spirit  land.  Their 
notions  are  that  a  wicked  man  will  be  placed  in  a  cold,  dreary 
land,  where  the  briars  and  flint-rocks  will  tear  the  flesh  from  his 


bones  and  the  game  will  be  within  his  reach  and  altho  he  is 
starving  with  hunger,  he  can  not  kill  anything.  A  good  man 
will  have  a  fine,  warm  climate,  good  hunting,  and  many  wives. 

The  Indian  belief  of  a  future  state  in  a  dreary  region  is 
somewhat  similar  to  the  "Avernum"  of  Virgil,  described  in  his 
"  Sixth  Book  of  the  ^Eneid."  Roman  intelligence  can  not 
reach  further  on  this  subject  than  Indian  ignorance.  It  is  pro- 
hibited to  man,  learned  or  unlearned,  to  look  into  futurity. 

Religion  seems  to  be  a  constituent  part  of  every  rational 
being.  The  fundamental  principles  are  recognized  by  all  man- 
kind that  there  is  a  great  First  Cause  and  that  religion  and 
adoration  are  due  that  Being  from  all  His  creation.  Thus  far 
all  human  beings  agree;  but  when  this  adoration  or  religion  is 
reduced  to  practise,  nearly  all  the  world  disagree  in  the  details. 
The  variety  of  religious  opinions  among  mankind  arises  from 
our  ignorance  of  the  Supreme  Being ;  yet  all  nations  know 
enough  to  make  themselves  happy  or  miserable,  as  they  may 
act.  There  is  no  mathematical  problem  more  conclusive  than 
that  virtue  produces  happiness  while  crime  causes  misery. 

A  difference  of  opinion  will  always  exist  on  this  subject 
among  men,  and  it  is  the  duty  of  man  not  to  condemn  his 
brother  for  opinions  different  from  his  own.  Therefore,  I  con- 
sider, a  liberal  and  charitable  toleration  of  all  sects  and  denomi- 
nations of  religions  is  the  enlightened  platform  of  modern 
churches,  and  a  departure  from  it,  demonstrates  the  want  of 
religion  and  also  the  want  of  every  virtue  that  adorns  and 
elevates  the  human  family.  It  is  impiety  and  blasphemy  for  a 
frail  man  to  condemn  his  brother  to  perdition  because  he  does 
not  worship  the  Supreme  Being  in  the  same  manner  as  he  does. 

Toleration,  forbearance,  and  charity  are  taught  in  almost 
every  page  of  the  New  Testament.  "  Father,  forgive  them  ; 
they  know  not  what  they  do,"  should  teach  the  human  family 
a  lesson  on  these  virtues  that  exalt  and  elevate  mankind.  A 
religion  that  is  based  on  proper  and  liberal  principles  should  be 
taught,  advanced,  and  urged  on  frail  mortals;  not  by  the  SAvord, 
but  by  benevolence  and  charity  and  love.  The  more  mankind 
are  advanced  in  a  pure  and  proper  religion,  the  more  elevated 
and  dignified  stand  will  the  human  family  occupy.  The  more 
we  love,  revere,  and  worship  God,  the  fountain  of  happiness, 


the  nearer  we  approach  Him  and  thereby  the  more  happiness 
we  must  enjoy.  Enlightened  religion  and  virtue  are  correla- 
tives with  happiness.  One  can  not  exist  without  the  other. 
An  austere,  ignorant  sectarian  can  not  enjoy  the  same  happi- 
ness that  a  liberal  and  enlightened  believer  is  blessed  with. 

Many  nations  in  ancient  and  some  in  modern  times  sacrificed 
animals  to  court  the  favor  of  the  Great  Spirit.  Blackhawk 
and  his  band,  in  1832,  when  they  marched  up  Rock  River,  im- 
molated a  dog  every  night  to  appease  the  wrath  of  the  Great 
Spirit.  The  dog  was  tied  to  a  tree  a  short  distance  from  the 
ground,  with  his  nose  uniformly  pointed  in  the  direction  the 
Indians  were  marching.  He  was  cut  open  and  a  small  fire  was 
made  under  him  ;  so  his  nether  end  was,  in  a  small  degree, 
burnt.  The  sight  of  this  sacrifice  excited  sympathy  for  both 
the  dog  and  the  Indians.  The  Indians  resort  to  this  when  they 
are  overwhelmed  with  a  great  national  calamity. 

The  Indians  pay  considerable  attention  to  the  burial  of  the 
dead.  When  a  member  of  the  family  dies  while  they  are  out 
from  the  towns,  where  the  common  graveya'rd  is,  they  often  cut 
a  trough  out  of  a  log;  make  it  light  and  neat  and  tie  it  in  the 
top  of  a  tree;  so  the  corpse  in  it  may  remain  safe  from  wolves, 
etc.,  until  they  return.  They  then  carry  it  to  the  common 
burial-ground  and  inter  it  with  its  forefathers.  It  was  a  matter 
of  curiosity  to  see  these  coffins  fastened  in  the  trees  when  we 
were  ranging  on  the  frontiers  in  the  war  of  1812.  These  poor 
Indians  and  most  of  their  customs  have  passed  away  and  are 
almost  forgotten. 

In  1799,  four  Indians,  Shawnees,  were  loitering  about  Lusk's 
ferry  on  the  Ohio,  and  were  in  search  of  a  man  in  that  region, 
to  kill.  It  is  supposed  that  some  one  at  Fort  Massac  wanted 
to  destroy  a  man  named  Duff,  who  resided  on  the  bank  of  the 
river,  and  hired  these  Indians  to  commit  the  murder.  They 
came  to  the  house  of  Mr.  Lusk  and  examined  him  minutely, 
but  did  not  molest  him.  He  was  not  their  victim.  At  length, 
they  killed  Duff,  who  resided  at  the  mouth  of  Trade  Water,  on 
the  Ohio.  They  escaped  arid  there  the  matter  ended.  It  was 
rather  common  in  these  times  to  employ  Indians  to  commit 
those  crimes.  • 


In  1800,  Lusk  built  a  decent  house  on  this  shore  of  the  Ohio, 
where  Golconda  now  stands,  to  accommodate  the  travelers.  A 
few  years  after,  Gen.  Lacy  established  on  the  Ohio  another 
ferry,  a  short  distance  from  Miles',  and  some  time  after,  Ford 
occupied  Miles'  old  ferry.  In  Ford's  day,  this  ferry  and  the 
country  adjacent  to  it,  on  the  west  of  the  Ohio,  became  noto- 
rious for  the  violation  of  the  peace  and  order  of  society. 

In  1806,  at  the  place,  ten  miles  from  the  Ohio,  where  Potts 
resided  afterward,  on  the  road  west  of  the  river,  a  bloody 
tragedy  was  acted.  A  man  by  the  name  of  Steagall — the 
same  who  assisted  to  kill  one  of  the  Harps  in  Kentucky- 
eloped  with  a  young  girl  and  made  the  above  place  his  resi- 
dence. Our  country  at  that  day  was  new  and  almost  without 
inhabitants ;  so  that  Steagall  supposed  that  neither  law  or 
gospel  could  reach  his  crimes;  but  far  otherwise.  Two  or  three 
of  the  brothers  of  the  seduced  girl  and  her  father  followed 
them  from  Trade  Water,  in  Kentucky,  the  residence  of  the 
father,  and  after  dark,  shot  Steagall  to  death  and  brought  back 
the  deluded  girl  to  Her  home  and  family.  They  found  Steagall 
and  the  others  sitting  up  under  a  gallery  outside  of  the  cabin, 
with  a  lamp  burning.  The  assailing  party  advanced  in  silence 
and  secrecy  near  Steagall  and  shot  him  without  doing  any  of 
the  others  any  injury  whatever. 

In  1756,  Jean  Baptiste  Saucier,  a  French  officer  at  Ft.  Chartres, 
and  married  in  that  vicinity.  After  the  country  was  ceded  to 
Great  Britain  in  1763,  he  located  himself  and  family  in  Caho- 
kia,  where  he  died.  He  had  three  sons:  Jean  B.,  Matthieu,  and 
Francis  Saucier,  who  were  popular  and  conspicuous  characters 
in  early  times  in  Illinois.  These  brothers,  while  they  resided 
in  Cahokia,  were  employed  in  various  civil  and  military  offices 
and  bore  a  conspicuous  part  in  the  transactions  of  the  country 
at  their  day.  Jean  B.  Saucier  died  in  Cahokia,  while  the  other 
two  founded  the  village  of  Portage  des  Sioux  in  Upper  Louis- 
iana. This  village  is  situated  on  the  Mississippi,  at  a  narrow 
place  between  that  river  and  the  Missouri,  where  the  Indians 
made  a  portage  between  the  two  rivers,  which  gave  it  the  name 
of  the  Sioux  Carrying  Place.  Both  Matthieu  and  Francis  Sau- 
cier raised  large  families  at  this  place.  Francis '  had  five  edu- 


cated  and  accomplished  daughters,  whose  marriages  united  him 
to  that  number  of  conspicuous  families.  Cols.  Menard,  Chou- 
teau,  Sr.,  James  and  Jesse  Morrison,  and  George  Atchison  were 
the  sons-in-law  of  Saucier.  The  two  aged  patriarchs  (the  Sau- 
ciers)  died  in  this  village. 

In  1792,  Jean  Francis  Perry  emigrated  from  France  and  set- 
tled in  Illinois.  He  was  a  native  of  the  city  of  Lyons  in 
France  and  was  the  descendant  of  a  very  respectable  and 
wealthy  family  of  that  famous  city.  His  mother  was  a  branch 
of  the  French  nobility  and  his  father  a  judge  of  dignity  and 
high  standing  in  Lyons.  Young  Perry  received  a  liberal  and 
classic  education.  He  also  studied  and  practised  law  in  France. 
He  was  gifted  by  nature  with  a  strong  mind  and  improved  it 
by  the  best  education  the  old  country  could  bestow  on  him, 
which  made  him  a  very  superior  man.  He  was  forced  away 
from  the  bright  prospects  before  him,  of  wealth,  honor,  and  high 
standing  with  his  countrymen,  and  left  his  native  land,  his 
father's  house  and  family,  for  an  asylum  in  America.  The 
French  Revolution  breaking  out,  caused  him  to  migrate  to  the 
LTnited  States.  His  father  decided  that  his  son  must  retire 
from  the  scenes  of  bloodshed  for  safety  in  the  new  world.  He 
was  fitted  out  with  money  and  came  to  the  United  States.  He 
associated  with  him  M.  Claudius,  a  Frenchman,  in  merchandis- 
ing and  they  started  from  Philadelphia  to  the  West.  They 
passed  the  new  settlement  of  Gallipolis  on  the  Ohio;  but  the 
good-sense  of  Perry  advised  him  that  that  settlement  was  too 
new  and  too  poor  for  him.  He  and  partner  reached  Cahokia 
with  their  small  store  of  goods;  but  soon  after  settled  in  Prairie 
du  Pont. 

In  a  few  years  after  they  had  opened  their  store,  Claudius 
went  to  Philadelphia  to  purchase  goods  and  was  killed  by  being 
thrown  from  his  horse  in  the  streets  of  that  city.  His  foot 
caught  in  the  stirrup  and  he  was  dragged  and  torn  to  death  on 
the  pavements 

Perry  purchased  the  ancient  mill- site  on  Prairie-du-Pont 
Creek,  where  the  Mission  of  St.  Sulspice  first  erected  a  mill, 
long  before  the  cession  of  the  country  to  Great  Britain  in  1763. 
He  built  on  this  site  a  new  and  profitable  mill  and  occupied  the 
dwelling  near  it  with  himself  and  family.  About  this  time, 


1794,  he  married  a  young  and  beautiful  Creole,  a  daughter*  of 
Jean  B.  Saucier,  above  mentioned.  This  union  was  prosperous 
and  happy.  Altho  Perry  was  a  sound  and  well-read  lawyer,  yet 
he  never  practised  in  our  courts.  He  availed  himself  of  the  in- 
telligence of  the  law  and  his  great  energy  and  activity  in  busi- 
ness; so  he  amassed  a  great  fortune  in  a  very  few  years.  He 
started  into  operation  his  mill  and  kept  his  store  also  in  profit- 
able order;  so  that  both  these  means  advanced  his  fortune;  but 
the  greatest  part  of  his  wealth  was  acquired  by  his  profitable 
commerce  in  lands.  His  strong  mind,  together  with  his  knowl- 
edge of  the  law,  enabled  him  to  enter  the  arena  of  land  specu- 
lation with  the  power  to  contend  with  a  giant  in  that  traffic. 

*  Adelaide  Saucier,  was  born  in  the  village  of  St.  Philip,  that  adjoined  Fort 
Chartres,  in  1758,  and  died  at  Belleville,  111.,  in  1833;  of  her  two  daughters  by 
this  marriage,  the  eldest,  Adelaide  Perry,  born  at  Prairie  du  Pont,  St.  Clair 
County,  January  24,  1803,  died  at  her  home  in  Belleville,  May  13,  1881;  and 
married,  Oct.  18,  1820,  Adam  W.  Snyder,  son  of  Adam  Snyder,  a  German  house- 
carpenter,  who  emigrated  to  America  from  Strasburg,  in  the  then  French  province 
of  Alsace,  and  located  in  Reading,  Pa. ;  later  he  removed  to  Connellsville,  where  he 
resided  until  his  death,  in  1836. 

Adam  Wilson  Snyder  was  born  in  Connellsville,  Fayette  Co.,  Pa.,  Oct.  6,  1799; 
in  boyhood  he  was  physically  incapable  of  hard  labor,  tho  necessity  compelled  his 
exertion,  and  he  supported  himself  by  wool-carding  during  the  long,  summer  vaca- 
tions between  the  winter  terms  of  school,  where  he  acquired  the  elementary  English 
branches  with  a  slight  knowledge  of  Latin.  In  1815,  when  scarcely  1 6,  prompted 
by  a  desire  to  try  life  in  the  West  with  wider  opportunities,  he  visited  a  half-brother 
near  Columbus,  Ohio,  where  he  .soon  became  a  clerk  in  the  country  store  of 
McFarland,  who  afterward  settled  in  Ridge  Prairie,  St.  Clair  Co. ,  111. ;  shortly  after, 
while  visiting  his  former  home,  Jesse  B.  Thomas,  at  that  time  one  of'  the  judges  of 
Illinois  Territory,  residing  at  Cahokia,  the  county-seat  of  St.  Clair  County,  and  later 
at  Kaskaskia,  the  most  important  town  in  the  Territory,  called  upon  him  and  offered 
him  a  situation  in  a  wool-carding  and  fulling-mill  that,  to  supply  a  long-felt  want,  he 
had  decided  to  erect  at  Cahokia.  Accordingly  in  the  spring  of  1817,  with  all  his 
earthly  possessions  in  a  moderately-sized  bundle,  he  accompanied  Judge  Thomas,  to 
whom  he  had  been  highly  recommended,  to  Cahokia,  and  on  his  arrival  immediately 
commenced  mixing  mortar  and  carrying  stone  for  the  first  wool-carding  mill  in  Illi- 
nois; with  the  advice  and  encouragement  of  his  employer,  he  commenced  and  dili- 
gently prosecuted  the  study  of  law  during  the  hours  of  labor,  until  he  was  admitted 
to  the  bar  in  1820;  with  the  assistance  and  influence  of  Judge  Thomas,  then  U.-S. 
senator,  he  readily  gained  a  professional,  political,  social,  and,  and  financial  position, 
and  in  1830  was  elected  State  senator  from  St.  Clair  County,  serving  in  the  seventh, 
eighth,  and  ninth  general  assemblies;  was  in  the  Black-Hawk  war  as  a  private  in 
Capt.  John  Winstanley's  Co.,  enlisting  April  18,  1832;  on  the  2gth  was  appointed 
adjutant  of  his  (ist)  regiment,  and  upon  the  second  call  raised  a  company  of  which 
he  was  elected  captain,  enrolled  May  27,  mustered  out  June  21,  1832.  Among  the 


He  owned  at  his  death  choice  selected  lands  all  over  the  coun- 
try, and  what  is  the  best  evidence  of  his  sound  judgment,  he 
owed  not  a  cent  at  his  decease. 

Perry  was,  with  all  his  wealth,  a  plain,  unostentatious  man? 
and  lived  and  dressed  in  true  republican  style.  He  paid  due 
regard  to  all  the  various  rules  of  economy  and  was  amiable  and 
benevolent  in  an  eminent  degree.  His  house  was  always  open 
to  the  poor  coming  from  a  distance  to  his  mill,  and  he  enter- 
tained and  made  them  comfortable  and  happy  with  everything 
his  means  afforded.  He  was  very  popular  and  much  esteemed 
by  all  classes  of  people.  His  friends  forced  him  into  public 
employments:  he  acted  for  a  long  series  of  years  as  a  judge  of 

high  privates  of  his  company  were  Hons.  Joseph  Gillespie;  James  Semple  of  Madison 
County,  afterward  U.-S.  senator;  Pierre  Menard  of  Randolph  County;  and  Col.  John 
Thomas  of  St.  Clair  County.  The  county-seat  of  St.  Clair  Co.  having  been  removed 
from  Cahokia  to  Belleville  he  purchased  and  occupied  the  former  residence  of  Gov. 
Edwards  in  1833;  in  1834,  was  defeated  for  congress  by  Gov.  Reynolds — both  were 
democrats;  in  1836,  he  defeated  Reynolds  for  congress;  in  1838,  was  again  defeated 
for  congress  by  Reynolds;  in  1840,  was  elected  State  senator;  and  in  Dec.,  1841, 
received  the  democratic  nomination  for  governor;  the  election  was  held  in  August, 
1842,  but  on  May  14  previous  he  died  at  his  home  in  Belleville;  and  Judge  Thomas 
Ford  was  selected  to  fill  his  place  on  the  successful  ticket.  Of  his  family  who  sur- 
vived him,  the  widow  and  three  sons: 

Hon.  William  H.,  his  eldest  son,  born  July  12,  1825,  has  resided  all  his  life  in 
St.  Clair  Co.,  and  in  P>elleville  since  1833;  was  graduated  from  McKendree  College 
in  1845,  an<*  immediately  commenced  the  study  of  law  in  the  office  of  Gov.  Koerner, 
and  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  1846;  was  postmaster  of  Belleville  by  appointment 
of  President  Polk;  during  the  Mexican  war  he  was  enrolled  at  Alton,  May  26,  1847, 
as  ist-lieutenant  of  G.  W.  Hook's  Company  E,  and  June  8,  was  adjutant  of  his  regi- 
ment— Col.  Newby's;  was  twice  prosecuting-attorney  of  the  Belleville  circuit;  repre- 
sented St.  Clair  Co.  in  eighteenth  and  nineteenth  general  assemblies;  was  appointed 
and  declined  a  lieutenancy  of  dragoons  in  1856;  member  of  the  constitutional  con- 
vention of  1870;  and  is  now  serving  his  third  term  as  judge  of  the  circuit  (3d)  court. 

Frederick  Adam,  second  son,  born  Dec.  8,  1827;  graduated  at  McKendree  Col- 
lege at  age  of  17;  was  admitted  to  the  bar  two  years  later;  in  1847,  received  appoint- 
ment of  2d-lieutenant,  Co.  G,  i6th  U.-S.  InPy,  in  Mexican  war,  disbanded  August, 
1848;  practising  his  profession  till  1849,  he  crossed  the  plains  to  California,  and  after 
a  brief  mining  experience,  located  in  San  Francisco;  in  1853  was  a  member  of  the 
legislature  and  one  of  three  of  its  members  appointed  to  revise  the  statutes  of  Cali- 
fornia; died  en  route  to  Lake  Bigler  in  July,  1854,  in  his  27th  year. 

Dr.  John  Francis,  youngest  son,  born  March  22,  1830,  at  an  early  age  commenced 
the  study  of  medicine,  and  has  so  far  devoted  his  life  to  its  practice;  resides  at  Vir- 
ginia, Cass  Co.,  III.;  was  elected  a  member  of  the  legislature  in  1878  from  the  36th 
district;  is  known  in  the  scientific  world  by  his  contributions  to  American  ethnology 
and  archaeology. 



the  court  of  common-pleas.  He  also  acted  as  a  justice-of-thc- 
peace  in  and  for  the  old  St.  Clair  County  almost  all  his  life  after 
he  reached  Illinois.  Perry  learned  well  the  English  language ; 
so  he  was  at  home  in  that  as  well  as  the  French.  He  was  pre- 
vailed on  to  serve  one  or  more  sessions  in  the  legislature  of 
Indiana  Territory.  He  was  there  in  one  session  at  Vincennes 
with  Judge  Bond,  and  Major  Murdoch,  members  of  St.  Clair 
County.  He  acquitted  himself  in  all  these  various  offices  with 
honor  to  himself  and  advantage  to  the  public. 

Some  years  before  his  death,  by  some  excessive  exertion,  he 
injured  his  constitution,  which  caused  his  death.  His  system 
was  so  deranged  that  the  blood-vessels  refused  to  perform  their 
ordinary  functions.  He  wrote  to  Dr.  Rush  of  Philadelphia  on 
the  subject  and  had  directions  from  that  celebrated  physician 
who  to  manage  the  case.  He  lingered  in  this  situation  for 
several  years  and  became,  by  the  disease  or  by  some  other 
means,  very  corpulent.  Blood  was  taken  from  him  every 
month  or  oftener,  to  save  his  life.  He  died*  in  1812,  in  Prairie 
du  Pont,  where  he  had  resided  for  nearly  twenty  years.  His 
decease  was  a  sore  calamity  to  his  family  and  the  public  of  that 
section  of  the  country.  His  family -f-  lost  a  kind,  amiable,  tender 
parent  and  husband,  and  his  neighborhood  was  deprived  of 
their  best  friend. 

His  mind,  as  it  has  already  been  stated,  was  of  the  first  order 
for  strength  and  solidity.     It  was  improved  and  trained  by  edu- 
cation and  by  profound  meditation.      He  had  nothing  of  the 
gaudy  or  tinsel  character  in  his  composition;  but  his  talents  am 
energy,  in  this  new  and  poor  country,  had  not  the  appropriai 
theatre  in  which  to  act.     He  was  forced  off  from  his  counf 
and  settled  in  an  obscure  corner.     His  talents  at  Prairie  du  Poi 
were  like  "  the  rose  that  wastes  its  fragrance  on  the  desert  air.' 
He  possessed  great  energy  and  activity  in  business,  and  witt 
these  qualifications,  he  reached  the  ne plus  ultra  of  his  situatioi 
He  was  placed  in  the  highest  offices  in  the  country  and  becar 

*  His  widow  married,  in  1815,  Augustine  Pensoneau,  who  died  in  the  fall  of  181 
his  widow  and  two  children — Felicite  and  Augustine — surviving. 

t  Henriet,  his  younger  daughter  (who  died  in  St.  Clair  Co.,  April  22,  1882),  mar 
ried,  in  the  fall  of  1822,  Louis  (died  February  22,  1826,  at  Point  a  la  Pierre),  sc"  o 
Louison  Pensoneau;  their  only  child,   Louis  Perry  Pensoneau,  now  lives  with 
married  daughter — his  only  child-  at  East  St.  Louis,  111. 


very  wealthy;  so  he  acted  well  his  part  in  the  limited  sphere  in 
which  he  was  situated.  He  was  upright  and  correct  in  his 
morals,  but  never  identified  himself  with  any  church.  His 
church  was  nature's  creation  before  him  and  God  the  teacher. 

Toward  the  close  of  the  last  century,  three  brothers,  Pierre, 
Hypolite,  and  Francis  Menard,  emigrated  from  Canada  and  set- 
tled in  Kaskaskia.  These  French  pioneers  were  conspicuous 
and  very  influential  characters.  They  were  natives  of  Quebec 
in  Canada,  and  were  of  respectable  family.  Their  father  had 
been  an  officer  in  the  French  service  and  was  in  the  military 
operations  near  Fort  Duquesne  about  the  time  of  Braddock's 

Pierre  Menard,  the  oldest  brother,  was  born  in  1/67,  and  re- 
ceived a  common,  plain  education  in  Canada.  He  was,  like 
many  of  the  young  Canadians,  filled  with  adventure  to  come  to 
the  West.  He  reached  Vincennes  in  1786,  and  entered  the 
employment  of  Col.  Vigo.  He  was  an  agent  for  Vigo  in  the 
Indian  trade.  He  was  employed  that  year  and  several  others 
subsequent,  to  procure  from  the  Indians  supplies  for  the  army 
under  Gens.  Clark  and  Scott.  He  headed  many  parties  out 
from  Vincennes  to  the  Indian  hunting-grounds  and  packed 
meat  back  for  the  troops.  Col.  Vigo  and  Menard  crossed  the 
mountains  to  Carlisle,  Pennsylvania,  to  see  President  Washing- 
ton on  public  business  in  regard  to  the  defence  of  the  country. 
This  was  in  1789,  and  they  met  the  president  at  Carlisle.  In 
1790,  he  and  Du  Bois  of  Vincennes  became  partners  in  mer- 
chandising and  established  a  store  of  Indian  and  other  goods 
in  Kaskaskia.  This  year  he  located  himself,  a  young,  single 
man,  in  old  Kaskaskia.  At  this  time,  his  mind  and  body  had 
reached  man's  estate.  He  had  been  mixing  with  the  world  for 
several  years  and  had  some  experience  in  the  affairs  of  men. 

Nature  and  education  had  conspired  to  make  Menard  a  con- 
spicuous and  very  popular  character.  He  was  endowed  with  a 
strong,  vigorous  intellect  and  was  also  blessed  with  an  energy 
that  never  tired  or  ceased  exertion,  only  to  enjoy  rest,  so  as  to 
be  able  again  for  redoubled  activity.  But  nature  and  education 
had  also  given  to  him  the  most  candid,  frank,  and  honest  deport- 
ment, of  which  very  few  men  are  blessed  in  such  an  eminent 
degree.  His  words,  actions,  and  all  his  movements  indicated  a 


pure  and  upright  heart,  where  neither  guile,  deceit,  nor  cunning 
had  any  resting-place. 

With  these  traits  of  character,  he  was  one  of  the  most  con- 
spicuous and  influential  personages  in  the  country.  Few  men 
in  Illinois  ever  enjoyed  the  honest  and  sincere  affections  of  the 
people  in  such  degree  as  Col.  Menard  did.  Not  only  did  the 
the  white  population  admire  and  respect  his  character,  but  the 
Indians  almost  worshiped  him  as  they  did  the  Great  Spirit.  At 
any  time,  an  Indian  would  prefer  giving  Menard  his  peltry  for 
nothing  than  to  receive  double  value  for  it  from  a  long-knife 
American.  He  was  the  United-States  agent  for  the  Indians  for 
many  years  and  acted  in  such  an  honorable  and  upright  manner 
that  both  parties  were  highly  pleased  with  his  conduct.  No 
man  in  the  West  had  more  influence  with  many  of  the  Indian 
tribes  than  he  had. .;  He  was  appointed  by  the  government  in 
many  cases  to  treat  with  the  red-skins. 

He  and  Lewis  Cass  were  at  the  Lower  Rapids  on  the  Missis- 
sippi in  1826,  on  July  4,  preparing  for  a  treaty  with  the  Indians, 
and  during  the  festivities  of  the  day,  he  named  the  town  at  the 
foot  of  the  Rapids,  Keokuk,  which  it  has  retained  to  this  day. 
This  place  was  then  just  started  and  was  christened  Keokuk  by 
Menard,  one  of  the  most  popular  and  influential  pioneers  that 
ever  was  in  Illinois.  It  will  be  recollected  that  Keokuk,  for 
whom  this  town  was  named,  was  a  great  and  talented  chief  of 
the  Sac  and  Fox  Indians.  He  was  by  nature  not  far  behind 
any  of  the  great  Indian  chiefs.  He  had  the  good-sense  to  know 
the  red-skins  could  not  contend  with  the  whites  and  always  on 
this  consideration  inculcated  peace  in  his  braves. 

Keokuk  was  made  a  war-chief  by  his  merit  and  not  by  birth. 
In  the  late  war  with  Great  Britain,  the  Sac  and  Fox  Indians 
were  about  to  be  destroyed,  as  they  supposed,  by  the  army 
under  Gen.  Howard  in  1813.  The  whole  nation  at  Rock  Island, 
except  a  very  few,  commenced  lamentations  and  shedding  tears 
of  distress,  thinking  the  Long  Knives  were  about  to.  kill  them 
all.  Keokuk  was  then  a  mere  youth,  but  his  great  native  mind 
and  his  true  patriotism  made  him  stand  out  the  champion  of 
the  nation  to  defend  them  and  country  against  Howard  and  his 
army.  A  few  other  choice  spirits  of  the  young  warriors  joined 
him  and  marched  out  to  meet  the  American  army,  preferring 
death  to  the  surrender  of  their  country. 


It  so  happened  that  the  Americans  were  not  near  them  and 
the  panic  arose  without  foundation.  I  was  with  the  army  under 
Gen.  Howard  and  we  were  almost  as  much  alarmed  at  the  Ind- 
ians as  the  Indians  were  at  us.  They  had  three  or  fourfold  over 
our  number.  This  movement  made  Keokuk  a  war-chief  of  the 
nation  and  Gen.  Scott  and  myself,  as  commissioners  at  the  treaty 
of  Rock  Island  in  1832,  with  the  Sac  and  Fox  Indians,  con- 
firmed him  in  this  office.  Keokuk  had  sound,  good  sense.  He 
took  the  newspapers  and  got  them  explained  to  him. 

Col.  Menard  was  almost  all  his  life,  after  he  left  Canada, 
engaged  in  the  Indian  trade.  He  was  never  idle.  He  con- 
sented on  many  occasions  to  serve  the  people  in  the  general 
assembly  and  was  elected  to  represent  Randolph  County,  with 
two  others,  Robert  Morrison  and  Robert  Reynolds,  my  father, 
in  the  legislature  of  the  Indiana  Territory  in  1803.  He  was 
then  quite  a  young  man;  energetic  and  well  acquainted  with 
the  country  between  Kaskaskia  and  Vincennes.  This  assembly 
convened  at  Vincennes  in  the  winter  and  the  traveling  across 
the  wilderness,  a  hundred  and  fifty  miles,  between  the  Mississippi 
and  Wabash  rivers,  was  excessively  bad.  The  creeks  were 
swimming  and  the  weather  extremely  cold.  At  that  day,  not  a 
house  stood  between  the  small  settlement  near  Kaskaskia  and 
the  Wabash  River. 

Menard  was  first  in  almost  every  enterprise  in  pioneer  times 
in  Illinois.  He  was  in  the  first  legislatures  of  both  the  territo- 
ties  of  Indiana  and  Illinois  and  was  the  first  lieutenant-governor 
of  the  State  in  1818.  He  was  elected  to  the  legislative  coun- 
cil, so  called  at  that  day,  of  the  first  Illinois  legislature  from 
Randolph  County,  in  1812,  and  was  elected  speaker  of  that 
body.  He  presided  in  that  assembly,  as  he  did  in  many  subse- 
quent cases,  with  good,  common -sense,  but  without  pomp  or 
parade.  He  was  continued  in  the  legislative  council  of  the 
Illinois  Territory  from  the  first  assembly  in  1812,  to  the  close 
of  the  territorial  government  in  1818,  and  always  elected  the 
presiding-officer.  He  had  a  sound,  solid  judgment  and  true 
patriotism  to  govern  his  actions  in  these  legislative  assemblies. 
He  never  made  speeches  of  any  length,  but,  like  Franklin,  told 
anecdotes  that  were  extremely  applicable  and  made  remarks 
that  showed  both  his  good  sense  and  patriotism.  Many  of  the 


wise  and  equitable  laws  which  have  made  Illinois  so  prosperous, 
came  out  from  under  his  fostering  care. 

After  the  close  of  the  term  of  his  office  as  lieutenant-governor, 
he  almost  always  declined  any  further  public  employment.  He 
accepted  the  office  of  commissioner  to  treat  with  the  Indians, 
but  longed  for  retirement,  so  as  to  attend  to  his  private  busi- 
ness and  family.  He  gradually  declined  any  public  office  and 
turned  his  attention  to  acts  of  benevolence  and  kindness,  which 
were  so  congenial  to  his  heart. 

It  was  not  in  public  life  where  he  excelled;  but  it  was  in  his 
private  and  domestic  conduct  where  his  true  and  genuine  be- 
nevolence displayed  itself  and  all  the  virtues  that  adorn  and 
ennoble  the  human  family  had  a  proper  theatre  in  his  heart  for 
their  action.  The  poor  and  distressed  always  received  charity 
at  his  hand.  The  "  milk  of  human  kindness "  never  reigned 
more  triumphant  in  any  heart  than  it  did  in  his.  In  his  younger 
days,  he  had,  as  most  others  did,  purchased  lands  of  the  citi- 
zens. These  lands,  together  with  his  Indian  trade  and  other 
means,  made  him  a  princely  fortune;  but  his  amiable  and  kind 
disposition  diminished  it  to  some  extent.  He  could  not  refrain 
from  being  security  for  many  individuals  whose  debts  he  \\ 
compelled  to  pay;  but  at  last  he  died,  seized  of  much  wealth. 
The  legislature  of  Illinois,  in  1839,  as  a  marked  honor  to  him, 
called  a  county  Me"nard,  which  is  at  this  time  a  flourishing  county, 
situated  northwest  of  Springfield.  He  was  extremely  active 
and  energetic  during  a  long  and  eventful  life.  He  was  a  part- 
ner, in  1808,  in  the  mammoth  company  of  Emanuel  Liza  and 
others  and  remained  in  the  Rocky  Mountains  a  year,  doing 
business  for  i'e  company. 

M6nard  died  at  Kaskaskia  in  1844,  aged  seventy-seven  years. 
In  his  death,  the  country  lost  a  great  and  good  man  and  his 
family  a  kind  and  affectionate  parent.  He  had  no  enemies  to 
rejoice  at  his  death,  but  a  host  of  friends  to  mourn  their  loss. 
The  blessings  of  the  people  rest  in  the  grave  with  him.  He 
was  a  liberal  and  enlightened  member  of  the  Catholic  church, 
and  died  happy,  confiding  in  the  doctrines  of  that  church. 

In  1795,  Francis  and  Hypolite  Menard  left  Canada  when  they 
were  young  men  and  settled  in  Kaskaskia.  Hypolite  was  quite 
a  youth  when  he  came  to  Illinois.  Francis  soon  became  a  great 


and  conspicuous  navigator  of  the  turbulent  and  headstrong  Mis- 
sissippi. He  had  the  strong  and  energetic  talents  equal  to  the 
emergency  to  master  the  river  and  to  conduct  his  gallant  vessel, 
with  fifty  or  eighty  men  on  board,  with  safety  from  port  to  port. 
A  commander  acts  under  an  immense  responsibility  in  this  ser- 
vice. Property  to  a  great  value  and  the  lives  of  his  crew  were 
confided  to  his  judgment  and  discretion.  A  wilderness  of  five 
or  six  hundred  miles  extended  along  the  river  between  the 
upper  and  lower  settlements.  Under  all  these  circumstances 
it  required  great  and  energetic  talents  to  succeed  over  all  these 
difficulties  of  the  Mississippi. 

Menard  had  the  capacity  to  perform  these  hazardous  and 
perilous  voyages  and  thereby  he  obtained  a  reputation  not 
-equaled  in  the  West  for  his  judgment  and  courage  in  navigat- 
ing this  dangerous  river.  He  had  such  extraordinary  judgment 
and  corresponding  energy  that  he  took  advantage  of  circum- 
stances that  a  man  of  less  intellect  and  firmness  would  not  dare 
undertake.  On  many  occasions,  when  there  were  storms  on  the 
river,  little  less  than  tornadoes,  blowing  up  or  down,  let  it  be 
night  or  day,  Menard  would  unfurl  the  sails  of  his  well-organ- 

(.1  craft  and  run  before  the  wind,  perhaps  eighty  or  a  hundred 
miles,  before  he  would  land  his  vessel.  In  these  great  emer- 
gencies, he  assumed  without  effort  a  calm  and  composed  dig- 
nity. The  high  order  of  talent  and  firmness  which  he  so  emi- 
nently possessed  occupied  the  commander  to  the  exclusion  oi 
the  common  traits  of  human  nature.  He  dressed  himself  in 
his  favorite  capote  and  red  cap;  invoked  the  favor  of  the  Savior 
and  promised  masses.  In  such  crisis,  he  showed  himself  the 
greatest  of  the  great  in  his  profession.  His  features  indicated 
intelligence  and  extreme  firmness  on  these  occasions,  bordering 
on  recklessness. 

In  these  perilous  storms,  he  took  the  helm  in  person  and 
seemed  almost  as  solid  and  firm  as  the  rocky  bluffs  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi which  he  passed  in  his  barge.  He  often  sailed  his  ves- 
sel against  the  strong  current  of  the  river  to  a  great  distance 
before  he  touched  land.  By  this  he  gained  eight  or  ten  days' 
hard  labor.  In  one  of  his  voyages  to  New  Orleans,  when  his 
character  was  well  known  in  that  city,  as  in  Kaskaskia  and  also 
on  the  river,  one  of  his  young  men  from  Prairie  du  Rocher  got 


a  little  tight  just  on  the  eve  of  their  departure  from  New 
Orleans  to  Illinois,  and  saw  a  cage  of  birds  a  Spaniard  had  to 
sell.  The  Creole  from  Prairie  du  Rocher  took  it  into  his  head 
that  the  birds  would  do  better  to  be  free  and  turned  them  out 
of  the  cage.  The  officers  seized  Menard's  man  and  were  about 
to  commit  him  to  the  calaboose.  Menard  was  ready  to  start 
home  and  disliked  to  lose  his  man  or  to  wait  for  his  trial. 

Boatmen  in  olden  times  were  rude  and  the  police  had  much 
trouble  with  them  in  New  Orleans.  For  this  reason,  a  guard  of 
soldiers  was  put  over  the  bird  liberator.  Menard  was  never  one 
day  in  place  but  all  his  acquaintances  were  his  devoted  friends. 
This  was  the  case  at  New  Orleans.  There  was  something  unac- 
countable and  indescribable  in  the  frankness  and  candor  of 
Menard  to  gain  him  friends  wherever  he  was  known.  His  hon- 
esty and  disinterestedness  seemed  to  aid  in  his  popularity;  but 
such  was  the  fact.  The  boatmen  of  that  day  always  carried 
their  arms.  He  ordered  his  men  to  parade  under  arms.  One 
or  two  were  left  with  the  boat  to  guard  it  and  a  swivel  or  two 
were  charged  to  fire  on  the  police,  if  necessary.  He  marched 
at  the  head  of  his  corps  to  the  place  where  the  guard  and 
police-officers  had  his  man  in  custody.  It  will  be  recollected 
that  nine-tenths  of  the  citizens  of  New  Orleans  were  French. 
Menard  informed  the  guard,  he  came  for  his  man;  he  would 
pay  for  the  birds  and  would  have  his  comrade.  The  die  was 
cast — he  must  succeed.  In  his  loud,  commanding  voice,  he  told 
the  assembly  in  French,  who  had  crowded  around  the  prisoner, 
to  withdraw.  He  ordered  his  boatmen  to  cock  their  guns,  and 
then  in  a  decisive  manner,  he  ordered  his  Creole  to  leave  the 
police  and  the  first  man  of  the  guard  that  tried  to  prevent  it, 
should  be  shot.  The  prisoner  left;  the  guard  was  intimidated 
and  Menard  marched  his  man  to  the  boat  amid  the  loud  cheers 
of  the  people.  The  Spanish  government,  just  before  the  ces- 
sion in  1803,  was  becoming  very  unpopular. 

Menard  was  attentive  to  his  religious  duties.  He  and  crew 
performed  their  church  devotions  in  both  Kaskaskia  and  Ne\v 
Orleans,  before  and  after  a  voyage,  with  sincerity.  He  always 
had  masses  said  in  both  churches,  returning  thanks  to  God  for 
his  success.  It  was  a  sublime  spectacle  to  see  these  rough, 
hardy  boatmen,  who  bid  defiance  to  all  creation  but  God,  kneel- 
ing at  the  altar  in  sincere  devotion  to  Him  on  high. 


Menard  had  mostly  on  the  boats  he  navigated,  some  part  of 
the  freight,  by  which  he  managed  so  as  to  make  money.  He 
purchased  fine  farms  near  Kaskaskia  and  became  quite  wealthy 
altho  he  was  extremely  liberal.  He  lived  to  an  old  age  and 
died  at  Kaskaskia.  No  death  was  more  lamented  than  his. 
Everyone  considered  they  had  lost  their  best  friend.  He  pos- 
sessed a  strong,  uncultivated  mind,  with  a  heart,  under  an  exte- 
rior of  no  great  polish,  that  did  honor  to  human  nature.  These 
two  Menards  were  descendants  of  the  ancient  and  noble  Barons 
of  Normandy,  and  if  they  had  lived  in  olden  times,  they  would 
have  been  knighted  on  the  field  of  battle  or  buried  there  with 
the  honors  of  war. 

Hypolite  Menard  was  an  excellent  citizen ;  raised  a  large 
family  and  was  a  good  farmer  in  the  Point,  so  called,  between 
the  Kaskaskia  and  Mississippi  rivers.  He  was  quite  respectable 
and  at  times,  represented  Randolph  County  in  the  general  as- 
sembly. He  was  an  honest,  correct  man  in  all  his  actions, 
public  and  private,  and  possessed  more  French  vivacity  than 
his  brothers.  He  also  lived  to  an  advanced  age  and  his  remains 
rest  in  peace  in  the  old  cemetery  at  Kaskaskia. 

In  olden  times,  the  whole  country  between  Lower  Louisiana 
and  Canada  was  called  Illinois,  and  the  French  citizens,  down 
to  1810,  or  thereabouts,  called  the  United  States,  America,  and 
did  not  consider  themselves  dans  V Amerique,  as  they  termed  it. 
It  seemed  strange  to  my  ear  to  hear  the  French,  in  1800,  speak 
of  America  as  a  different  country  than  theirs  on  the  Mississippi. 
In  fact,  the  people,  their  dress,  language,  houses,  manner  of  liv- 
ing and  doing  business  were  so  different  from  the  Americans  in 
the  States  that  it  almost  made  us  believe  we  had  traveled  out 
of  America.  Add  to  this,  a  great  number  of  Indians — perhaps 
two  to  one  white  man — were,  for  the  most  part  of  the  year,  in 
and  camped  around  Kaskaskia.  The  other  Indians  forced  all 
the  Illinois  tribes  to  remain  near  the  whites  for  protection. 

It  will  be  recollected  that  the  Spanish  government,  in  1795 
and  after,  when  the  difficulty  about  the  navigation  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi River  was  settled  between  us  and  Spain,  encouraged 
the  Americans  from  the  States  to  settle  in  Upper  Louisiana. 
This  policy  was  to  build  up  a  barrier  of  Americans  against 
British  encroachments  from  Canada.  They  knew  the  Ameri- 


cans  disliked  Great  Britain  and  would  not  permit  that  nation  to 
trample  on  them.  Thus  it  was  that  liberal  donations  of  lands 
were  given  to  the  settlers.  In  East  Tennessee,  about  1800,  it 
became  quite  popular  to  move  to  the  Spanish  country  in  Illi- 
nois, as  it  was  then  called.  The  Birds  and  Murphys,  two  re- 
spectable and  numerous  connections  of  people,  emigrated  from 
East  Tennessee  to  the  west  side  of  the  Mississippi. 

The  neighbors  of  my  father  had  been  out  to  see  the  country 
and  put  the  people  on  fire  to  move.  My  father,  Robert  Reyn- 
olds, caught  the  mania.  He  emigrated  from  Ireland — was  brim 
full  of  energy  and  disregarded  moving.  The  travel  at  that  day 
from  East  Tennessee  to  the  Mississippi  was  considered  more 
troublesome  and  dangerous  than  the  journey  is  at  this  time  to 
California.  The  intelligence  of  the  people  and  the  facilities  for 
traveling  have  been  much  improved  within  fifty  years  past. 
Our  traveling  caravan  consisted  of  my  two  parents,  six  chil- 
dren (I  the  oldest),  one  negro  woman,  three  hired  men,  eight 
horses,  two  wagons,  and  the  appropriate  number  of  dogs  for  a 
new  country.  We  started  from  the  northern  section  of  Knox 
County,  Tenn.,  for  what  was  then  literally  true,  the  Far-West. 

To  show  the  unparalleled  improvement  and  growth  of  the 
West  since  1800,  I  state  that  we  crossed  Clinch  River  at  the 
southwest  point,  into  a  wilderness  country  belonging  to  the 
Indians.  We  saw  a  great  abundance  of  cane  near  the  Cany 
Fork  of  Cumberland  River,  where  we  crossed  it  at  Walton's 
ferry.  At  that  day  there  was  no  Carthage  there.  We  passed 
Dixon's  Spring,  Bledsoe's  Lick,  and  Betts'  tanyard  at  the  Red- 
River  Ridge,  so  called  at  that  day.  We  traveled  thro  the  Red- 
River  country  to  the  place  where  Hopkinsville  now  stands.  At 
that  day  there  was  not  a  house  there,  except  a  jail.  We  passed 
the  residence  of  Judge  Prince  and  Richie's  horse-mill.  Here 
my  father  purchased  considerable  provisions  and  the  next  point 
was  Lusk's  ferry  on  the  Ohio,  where  my  father's  three  hired 
men  left  us. 

The  first  Illinois  soil  I  ever  touched  was  on  the  bank  of  the 
Ohio,  where  Golconda  now  stands,  in  March,  1800.  When  we 
were  about  to  start  from  the  Ohio,  I  asked  Mr.  Lusk  "  how  far 
it  was  to  the  next  house  on  the  road,"  and  when  he  told  us  that 
the  first  was  Kaskaskia,  one  hundred  and  ten  miles,  I  was  sur- 


prised  at  the  wilderness  before  us.  My  father  hired  a  man  to 
assist  us  in  traveling  thro  the  wilderness.  We  were  four  weeks 
in  performing  this  dreary  and  desolate  journey.  The  first  diffi- 
culty we  encountered  was  a  terrible  hurricane  that  prostrated 
the  timber  and  filled  the  road  for  miles  with  the  trunks  and 
branches  of  the  trees.  This  detained  us  considerably,  to  cut  a 
new  road  round  and  over  this  fallen  timber.  The  next  great 
obstacle  was  Big- Muddy  River.  That  detained  us  several 
weeks.  We  first  waited  for  it  to  fall;  but  at  last  we  were  forced 
to  raft  it  and  swim  the  horses.  The  horses  became  poor  for  the 
want  of  grain  or  grass,  as  it  was  then  in  the  month  of  March 
and  scarcely  any  grass  was  up  to  support  them.  A  small  mat- 
ter in  a  crisis  is  much  regarded.  We  had  two  axes,  but  lost 
one  in  Big  Muddy.  The  axe  fell  into  water  twenty  feet  deep ; 
so  we  could  not  regain  it.  If  we  had  lost  the  other,  surrounded 
with  high  water  as  we  were,  we  might  have  been  numbered,  if 
not  with  the  dead,  at  least  with  the  distressed. 

The  next  creek  was  Little  Muddy.  We  had  learned  the  arts 
and  mysteries  of  rafting  and  so  we  did  better.  The  next  creek 
was  that  small  stream  a  few  miles  east  of  Beaucoup.  We 
rafted  that  and  Beaucoup,  making  four  in  all  which  we  thus 
crossed.  After  that  we  reached  Kaskaskia  without  much  diffi- 
culty. We  saw  plenty  of  buffalo  sign  between  Big  and  Little 
Muddys;  but  were  no  hunters  and  killed  nothing.  The  citizens 
of  Kaskaskia,  Messrs.  Edgar,  John  R.  Jones,  Robert  Morrison, 
Menard,  and  others  were  anxious  that  my  father  should  settle 
on  this  side  of  the  river;  but  he  went  to  St.  Genevieve  to  obtain 
some  permit  or  license  from  the  commandant  to  settle  in  the 
country.  The  regulations  of  the  government  requiring  him  to 
raise  his  children  Catholics  determined  him  not  to  live  under 
such  government.  My  father  and  mother  were  born  and  raised 
in  Ireland  in  the  Protestant  faith  and  would  not  consent  to  live 
in  a  Catholic  country.  We  were  destined  for  the  Murphy's  Set- 
tlement, on  the  St.  Francis  River,  but  the  above  caused  us  to 
settle  in  Illinois.  We  made  a  plantation  a  few  miles  east  of 
Kaskaskia,  in  the  settlement  already  described,  and  resided 
there  until  1807,  when  we  moved  and  settled  in  Goshen  Settle- 
ment in  the  American  Bottom,  four  miles  southeast  of  the  pres- 
c-nt  town  of  Edwardsville. 


My  father  was  born  and  raised  in  the  county  of  Monohoir,. 
Ireland,  and  my  mother  in  the  City  of  Dundalk.  They  landed 
at  Philadelphia  not  long  after  the  Revolution  and  I  was  born  m< 
Montgomery  County,  Penn.,  in  1788.  The  same  year  I  was 
born,  my  parents  moved  to  Knox  County,  Term.,  where  they 
left  for  the  Spanish  country,  as  before  stated.  My  father  was  a 
man  of  strong  mind  and  possessed  a  good  English  education. 
He  was  ardent  in  politics  and  restless  when  young.  In  his 
matured  age,  he  read  much  and  wrote  essays  for  the  papers. 
He  was  a  great  admirer  of  Jefferson  and  hated  the  government 
of  Great  Britain  with  a  ten -horse  power.  I  never  knew  any 
man  who  loved  the  government  of  the  United  States  more  than 
he  did.  In  his  younger  days,  he  was  elected  representative  from 
Randolph  Countyrto  the  Indiana  legislature  and  held  the  offices 
of  judge  of  the  court  of  common-pleas  of  the  county  and  jus- 

Judge  James  McRoberts"*  of  Monroe  County  was  a  very  early 
and  respectable  pioneer  of  Illinois.  It  was  by  him  and  similar 
citizens  of  moral  and  correct  deportment  that  Illinois  has  taken 
a  stand  in  her  infancy  which  bids  so  fair  to  prosperity  in  maturer 
days.  James  McRoberts  was  born  in  Glasgow,  Scotland,  May 
22,  1760.  He  emigrated  to  America  and  settled  in  Philadel- 
phia at  the  age  of  twelve  years.  At  the  tender  age  of  seven- 
teen, he  entered  the  tented  field  in  the  Revolutionary  war  and 
became  a  soldier  in  that  most  glorious  struggle  that  not  only 
broke  to  atoms  the  chains  of  bondage  from  our  limbs,  but  it 

*  Judge  McRoberts'  family  came  to  America  in  1772,  residing  at  Philadelphia  a 
short  time,  thence  to  Washington,  Pa.,  where  a  permanent  home  was  established;  at 
1 7  years  he  joined  the  army  at  Brandywine,  was  in  the  battle  of  that  name,  at  the  siege 
of  Yorktown,  and  witnessed  the  surrender  of  Cornwallis,  Oct.  19,  1781;  remained 
in  the  service  fighting  Indians  on  the  Ohio  until  discharged  in  1783.  Of  his  nine 
children,  five  of  whom  were  daughters,  six  survived  him;  of  the  four  sons:  James, 
Jr.,  Samuel,  Thomas,  and  Josiah;  the  three  younger  reached  maturity  and  filled 
various  State  and  national  positions.  At  this  time  but  two  of  the  nine  are  alive  — 
Mrs.  Mary  Trail  of  Waterloo,  Monroe  Co.,  111.,  born  February,  1818;  married  1841, 
Maj.  Xerxes  F.  Trail,  major,  July  i,  1846,  of  Col.  Bissell's  regiment  12-mo.  vols  , 
in  the  Mexican  war,  and  fought  in  every  battle  from  Buena  Vista,  where  he  distin- 
guished himself  while  in  command  of  three  companies  in  the  conflict  at  the  mountain 
on  the  left,  to  the  final  surrender  of  the  city  of  Mexico,  their  two  children :  Mary 
Francis,  wife  of  Col.  Milton  Moore,  and  Samuel,  now  living  in  Austin,  Texas; 
and  Circuit-Judge  Josiah  McRoberts  of  Joliet,  111. 


will,  in  the  end,  liberate  and  free  all  mankind  from  oppression. 
It  is  a  proud  honor  to  have  an  opportunity  to  serve  in  such  a 
glorious  war  and  the  children  of  the  Revolutionary  fathers  will 
hold  sacred  that  honor  transmitted  to  them  under  all  vicissi- 
tudes of  life.  Judge  McRoberts  remained  in  the  Revolution 
until  the  eagle  mounted  high  over  the  fallen  lion  and  was  honor- 
ably discharged  in  1783. 

In  1794,  he  married  a  lady  of  excellent,  strong  mind  and  high 
sense  of  propriety  and  proper  deportment.  He  settled  in  1788 
on  the  Ohio  River  in  Kentucky  and  the  next  year,  1789,  he 
visited  Kaskaskia  in  search  of  a  new  country.  McRoberts  and 
comrades  explored  thoroly  the  Northwest  and  the  Spanish  coun- 
try west  of  the  Mississippi,  and  returned  to  Kentucky  and  re- 
mained there  until  1797.  He  had  seen  the  advantages  of  Illi- 
nois and  was  determined  to  reside  in  it.  This  same  year  he 
came  to  Kaskaskia  and  the  next  year,  he  located  himself  on  the 
plantation  whereon  he  lived  almost  half-a -century  and  died.  It 
is  remarkable  that  in  this  new  country  where  everything  is  so 
changeable  that  the  same  dwelling-house  he  built  in  1798  is  in 
existence  and  tenantable  repair.  In  this  same  house,  all  his 
numerous  family  of  children  were  born  and  raised.  This  is  the 
birthplace  of  Hon.  Samuel  McRoberts,*  who  died  while  in  the 

*  Samuel  McRoberts,  born  in  Monroe  Co.,  111.,  Feb.  20,  1799;  after  receiving 
such  instruction  as  the  country  afforded,  at  an  early  age  entered  Transylvania  Uni- 
versity, Lexington,  Ky.,  while  Horatio  Holly  was  its  president;  and  taking  higli 
rank  in  all  his  classes,  was  graduated  in  1819  in  classical  and  law  departments;  re- 
turning to  Illinois,  he  was  in  1821  elected  the  first  circuit-court  clerk  of  Monroe  Co.; 
in  1825,  he  was  appointed  circuit-court  judge,  and  held  the  office  three  years;  presid- 
ing at  the  trial  of  the  People  vs.  Solomon  II.  Winchester  for  the  murder  of  Dan'l  U. 
Smith,  held  at  Edwardsville,  March,  1825,  in  which  Felix  Grundy  of  Tennessee  suc- 
cessfully defended;  in  1828,  was  elected  State  senator,  representing  the  district  com- 
posed of  Monroe,  Clinton,  and  Washington  counties;  was  later  appointed  by  Prest. 
Jackson  U.-S.  dist.-att'y  of  Illinois,  this  office  he  resigned;  was  appointed  by  Prest. 
VanBuren  receiver  of  public  moneys  at  Danville,  and  on  making  his  final  settlement 
with  the  treasury  it  owed  him  $1.65,  for  this  amount  Secretary-of-the-Treasury  Robt. 
I.  Walker  drew  a  treasury- warrant  and  remitted  to  him  in  1839;  VanPmren  ap- 
pointed him  in  1839  solicitor  of  the  general  land-office  at  Washington,  he  resigned 
in  the  fall  of  1841,  and  at  the  ensuing  session  of  the  legislature  was  elected  U.-S. 
senator,  serving  through  the  2yth  congress;  died  at  Cincinnati,  O.,  March  27,  1843, 
from  the  effect  of  a  cold  contracted  while  crossing  the  Alleghany  Mountains.  On 
Dec.  13,  1843,  Sen.  Breese,  his  colleague,  introduced  resolutions  and  eulogized  his 
memory  in  the  senate,  and  later  Hon.  John  Wentworth  introduced  them  to  the 
house,  and  paid  a  glowing  tribute  to  his  memory.  His  only  son  died  in  1874  in 
Washington,  D.  C. 


senate  of  the  United  States.  It  is  also  the  birthplace  of  the 
talented  and  interesting  member  of  the  bar,  Josiah  McRoberts*" 
of  Joliet,  Illinois — both  the  sons  of  Judge  McRoberts. 

Judge  McRoberts  was  a  practical  farmer  and  supported  him- 
self and  family  by  his  agricultural  industry.  Of  all  the  profes- 
sions pursued  by  man,  farming  is  the  most  honorable  and  inde- 
pendent. In  the  case  of  mechanics,  professional  men,  sailors, 
soldiers,  etc.,  they  must  of  necessity  depend  on  others  for  sup- 
port; but  the  farmer  does  not  depend  on  man  for  his  bread. 
He  depends  on  the  earth  and  Providence  and  if  he  does  his 
duty  they  will  not  desert  him. 

Judge  McRoberts  was  a  conspicuous  settler  in  his  section  of 
country,  which  induced  others  to  locate  around  him;  and  thro 
all  vicissitudes  of  the  country,  he  remained  on  his  plantation 
almost  as  firm  and  as  regular  as  the  days  and  nights  succeed 
each  other.  His  wisdom  and  good  sense  were  appreciated  by 
the  people  and  he  was  called  on  in  many  cases  to  serve  the 
public.  To  accommodate  the  neighborhood,  he  acted  as  justice- 
of-the-peace  for  many  years.  He  was  also«elected  to  the  office 
of  county-judge  under  the  State  government.  In  all  these 
offices,  he  acted  with  sound,  good  sense  and  acquitted  himself 
much  to  his  honor  and  to  the  benefit  of  the  country.  When  he 
was  on  the  bench  of  the  county-court,  the  finances  and  the 
policy  of  the  county  were  managed  with  good  sense  and  with 
great  advantage  to  the  public.  The  duties  of  this  court  are 

*  Josiah  McRoberts,  born  in  Monroe  Co.,  111.,  June  12,  1820;  was  placed  under 
James  Charters,  a  Scotch  schoolmaster,  a  profound  scholar  and  superior  linguist, 
who  laid  the  foundation  for  his  classical  education;  in  1836,  he  entered  St.  Mary's 
College,  Mo.,  Rev.  John  D.  Timon,  president;  after  being  graduated  in  1839,  he 
began  his  legal  studies  at  Danville,  111.,  under  his  brother  Samuel;  in  1842,  he 
entered  the  law-school  at  Transylvania  University,  Lexington,  Ky.,  and  after  receiv- 
ing his  diploma,  returned  to  Danville  in  1844  to  practise;  was  elected  State  senator 
from  the  Champaign-and- Vermilion  district  in  1846,  and  at  the  expiration,  of  his 
term  moved  to  Joliet,  111.,  where  he  now  resides;  was  appointed  by  Gov.  Matteson 
State  trustee  of  the  Illinois-and-Michigan  Canal  in  1852,  holding  this  four  years; 
in  1866,  was  appointed  by  Gov.  Oglesby  circuit-court  judge  to  succeed  Sidney  W. 
Harris,  resigned,  this  office  he  now  fills,  having  been  elected  three  successive  times^ 
Judge  McKoberts  married  at  Joliet,  Aug.  9,  1849,  Gertrude  Helmer,  dau.  of  Robert 
and  Catherine  (Myers)  Shoemaker,  born  at  Herkimer,  N.Y.,  March  6,  1828;  came 
to  Illinois  in  1836,  and  died  at  Joliet,  July  n,  1883.  Of  their  eight  children  but 
three  are  now  living:  Louise  M.,  wife  of  Edward  C.  Aikin;  Frank  H. ;  and  Josiah, 
Jr.;  Elizabeth,  the  second  daughter,  having  died  Nov.  2,  1880,  aged  25  years. 


important  to  the  community  and  they  require  the  most  expe- 
rienced and  wise  men  in  the  county  to  perform  them  in  a 
proper  manner.  Judge  McRoberts  possessed  the  sound  mind, 
with  long  experience,  and  practical  good  sense  to  fill  such  office 
and  he  did  so  to  the  improvement  of  both  the  county  and  the 
morals  of  the  people. 

This  venerable  patriarch,  after  living  a  long  and  useful  life 
and  seeing  his  family  raised  and  doing  well,  died  on  his  farm, 
in  September,  1846,  aged  eighty-six  years..  He  was  moral, 
punctual,  and  correct  in  all  his  acts,  public  and  private.  He 
lived  a  long  and  interesting  life.  His  life  may  in  truth  be  said 
to  be  eventful,  altho  he  resided  in  one  and  the  same  locality  for 
nearly  fifty  years.  His  emigration  to  America  was  an  impor- 
tant event;  the  next  was  his  services  in  the  great  and  glorious 
Revolution;  the  next  was  exploring  and  settling  in  Illinois  at 
such  an  early  day;  and  the  last  and  greatest  was  his  continued 
and  uninterrupted  residence  on  the  same  place  for  forty-nine 
years.  This  pioneer  seemed  to  me  to  have  performed  all  the 
ordinary  duties  assigned  to  man. 

The  aged  and  respectable  matron,  the  widow*  of  Judge 
McRoberts,  is  still  alive,  a  monument  of  female  worth  and  use- 
fulness. This  lady  possesses  a  strong  mind  and  a  just  sense  of 
the  independence  of  character.  She  gave  her  tender  offspring 
the  proper  impressions  when  they  were  prattling  around  her 
knee  and  they  never  departed  from  those  wise  and  proper  in- 
structions. Her  descendants  for  the  most  part  are  respectable 
and  interesting.  The  conduct  of  this  matron  in  her  family 
proves  the  propriety  of  paying  particular  attention  to  the  moral 
and  correct  education  of  the  females;  as  it  is  the  mothers  who 
give  their  children  the  first  impressions.  If  these  impressions 
are  good  and  wise,  the  children  will  become  worthy  and  respect- 
able citizens. 

Altho  emigration  into  Illinois  had  commenced  in  good  ear- 
nest in  and  about  1800,  yet  the  country  was  new  and  much  in- 
fested with  reckless  savages.  In  1802,  a  single  young  man  was 
returning  from  Kaskaskia  to  the  States  and  about  fifteen  miles 
east  from  Kaskaskia,  on  the  Massac  road,  an  Indian  shot  him. 

*  Mary  Fletcher,  born  in  Nashville,  Tenn.,  in  1776;  married  in  1794;  and  died 
in  the  spring  of  iS62,  aged  86;  surviving  her  husband  16  years. 


This  murder  was  committed  on  the  waters  of  the  river  Mary. 
No  inhabitants  were  living  near  the  place  and  the  whole  coun- 
try was  a  wilderness  and  crowded  with  Indians.  The  murderer 
was  a  straggling  Delaware  from  the  west  side  of  the  Missis- 
sippi. When  he  committed  the  murder,  he  took  the  man's 
saddle  and  some  other  articles  and  escaped  toward  the  mouth 
of  the  Big  Muddy,  in  the  Mississippi  Bottom.  The  whites  dis- 
covered the  outrage  and  employed  the  Kaskaskia  Indians  to 
assist  in  the  search  for  the  murderer.  The  Indians  found  the 
Delaware  in  the  Mississippi  Bottom  and  brought  him  to  Kas- 
kaskia. The  friends  of  the  murdered  man  proved  certain 
articles  the  Indian  had  with  him,  which,  with  other  circum- 
stances, convicted  the  Indian.  It  was  rather  a  sham  to  try  an 
Indian,  as  the  juries  would  always  convict  them  if  there  was 
the  semblance  of  evidence  against  their  old  enemies.  Late  in 
the  fall,  this  Delaware  was  hung  by  George  Fisher,  the,  sheriff 
of  Randolph  County,  on  a  honey-locust  tree  on  the  bank  of  the 
Kaskaskia  River,  a  mile  or  so  above  the  village  of  Kaskaskia. 
This  was  the  first  man  I  saw  hung  and  the  revolting  spectacle 
made  a  lasting  impression  on  my  mind  against  capital  punish- 
ment. I  recollect,  the  poor  savage  in  his  death-struggle  reached 
his  hand  to  the  rope  around  his  neck  and  it  was  with  great  diffi- 
culty the  sheriff  could  extricate  the  Indian's  grasp,  so  he  could 
be  hung  until  he  was  dead.  How  revolting  it  is  to  Christian 
principles,  properly  understood,  to  execute  a  human  being ! 

Another  barbarous  execution  was  committed  in  Kaskaskia  in 
1804.  Emsley  Jones  killed  a  man  of  the  name  of  Reed  in  the 
Mississippi  Bottom,  some  twelve  or  fifteen  miles  below  Kaskas- 
kia. Jones  was  executed  in  the  commons,  south  of  Kaskaskia, 
in  the  presence  of  a  great  concourse  of  people.  I  never  would 
witness  another  execution  after  those  of  Jones  and  the  Indian. 

In  the  early  settlement  of  the  country,  when  the  people  were 
too  poor  to  erect  suitable  prisons  to  confine  these  malefactors, 
they  were  compelled,  in  self-defence,  to  resort  to  capital  punish- 
ment; but  at  this  day,  there  is  no  excuse  for  this  barbarous  and 
anti-Christian  practice.  I  think  it  is  horrid  to  force  the  mur- 
derer before  his  God  with  his  brother's  blood  red  on  his  hands. 
The  convict  should  enjoy  his  natural  life  for  reflection  and  re- 
pentance. Let  him  be  put  in  a  dungeon,  so  that  he  has  an 


opportunity  to  prepare  himself  by  penitence,  contrition  of 
heart,  and  such  other  changes  as  will  fit  him  for  the  presence 
of  God.  Vengeance  belongs  to  God  and  not  to  man.  More- 
over, I  think,  life  belongs  to  the  Creator  and  we  have  no  right 
to  destroy  it.  We  are  tenants  at  sufferance;  we  may  use  the 
premises,  but  not  commit  waste  on  them. 

I  can  say,  at  least,  in  early  times,  Illinois  was  honored  and 
blessed  by  the  policy  and  services  of  great  and  wise  men, 
LaSalle,  Tonty,  and  many  of  the  missionaries  were  great  and 
good  men.  So  were  Renault,  Vincennes,  Artaguiette,  and 
others.  These  werQ  conspicuous  characters  in  the  discovery 
and  early  settlement  of  the  country.  For  his  Revolutionary 
services  west  of  the  mountains,  Gen.  Clark  might  with  pro- 
priety be  termed  "the  Washington  of  the  West."  Vigo  and 
others  acted  well  their  part  in  the  conquest  of  Illinois,  and 
Charles  Gratiot  performed  such  great  and  important  services 
for  his  country  in  the  Revolution  that  he  is  entitled  to  the  rank 
and  standing  of  almost  any  of  the  above-named  Illinois  patriots. 
He  is  raised,  by  his  meritorious  services,  to  the  dignified  and 
elevated  standing  of  a  Revolutionary  patriot — the  highest  ele- 
vation that  adorns  the  human  character. 

He  was  born  in  the  celebrated  city  of  Lausanne,  Switzer- 
land, in  1747.  His  family  and  connections  were  of  the  first 
respectability  and  wealth  of  that  city.  They  were  strong 
Huguenots  and  supposed  it  to  be  their  duty  to  educate  their 
son,  Charles  Gratiot,  in  that  faith  in  London.  At  the  age  of 
ten  years,  he  was  placed  in  the  care  of  a  friend  in  the  metro- 
polis of  the  British  Empire  to  receive  his  education.  His 
talents  were  soon  developed,  so  that  he  was  discovered  to  pos- 
sess an  extraordinary  strong  mind.  He  was  in  the  hands  of 
influential  and  wealthy  merchants,  who  believed  the  suminum 
bonum  of  human  happiness  to  consist  in  two  things :  neatly- 
kept  books  and  great  wealth.  Under  these  influences,  young 
Gratiot  was  mostly  prepared  for  commerce;  but  his  genius  dis- 
dained the  sordid  shackles  of  traffic  when  the  freedom  of  man 
came  in  contact.  After  receiving  his  education,  at  the  age  of 
eighteen,  he  sailed  from  London  for  Canada  and  joined,  at 
Montreal,  a  wealthy  uncle.  He  immediately  formed  a  partner- 
ship for  the  Northwest  Indian  trade  with  Messrs.  Kay  &  McRae. 



It  must  be  recollected  that  in  early  times,  and  particularly 
with  the  British  in  Canada,  the  Northwest  trade  with  the 
Indians  was  the  main  channel  to  wealth  and  fame;  and  in  fact 
almost  all  the  enterprising  and  active  young  men  of  that  day, 
whose  energies  and  talents  entitled  them  to  fame  and  honor, 
turned  their  attention  to  the  Northwest  trade. 

Charles  Gratiot,*  in  1767,  when  he  was  only  twenty  years  of 
age,  embarked  in  this  trade  and  bade  Canada  a  long  farewell. 
"His  partners  were  stationed,  one  at  Mackinac  and  the  other  in 
Montreal,  while  he  himself  was  the  active,  intelligent,  and  busi- 
ness partner  that  extended  the  commerce  of  the  company  from 
the  lakes  and  the  waters  of  the  Maumee,  across  the  Wabash 
country  to  the  Mississippi  and  from  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony  to 
the  mouth  of  the  Ohio.  As  his  business  increased,  his  mind 
and  energies  in  the  same  proportion  improved  and  developed 
themselves.  He  was  the  master-spirit  in  commerce  throughout 
this  vast  region  of  country  and  the  company  of  which  he  was 
partner  employed  seventy  or  eighty  thousand  dollars  in  their 
Indian  trade.  Charles  Gratiot  had  the  entire  control  of  this 
great  sum  of  money  and  all  the  commercial  transactions  within 
this  extended  territory.  He  remained  in  the  region  of  country 
near  Lake  Superior  for  some  years,  trading  with  the  Indians, 
receiving  his  supplies  of  goods  from  Mackinac  and  returning 
the  proceeds  of  sales  also  to  that  place.  In  1774,  he  turned 
his  attention  to  the  Illinois  country  and  established  stores  at 
both  Cahokia  and  Kaskaskia.  He  also  extended  his  Indian 
trade  across  the  Wabash  Valley  to  the  waters  of  the  Maumee; 
so  that  his  vast  operations  embraced  four  or  five  States  of  the 
present  Union  in  the  Northwest.  His  grand  depot  of  the 
Indian  trade  was  at  Cahokia  for  many  years  and  from  this 
point  he  extended  the  ramifications  of  his  commerce  in  various 
quarters  over  this  vast  region. 

I  have  been  favored  with  an  examination  of  his  commercial 
letters,  dated  at  Cahokia,  St.  Louis,  and  the  Riviere  des  Peres, 
in  1775  and  down  to  1785,  which  exhibit  his  commercial  trans- 

*  When  the  transfer  of  sovereignty  took  place  at  St.  Louis,  March  10,  1804,  under 
the  treaty  which  annexed  Louisiana  Territory,  and  the  French  flag  was  lowered,  he 
unfurled  the  first  American  flag  in  Upper  Louisiana,  from  the  balcony  of  his  resi- 


actions  throughout  a  great  portion  of  the  Mississippi  Valley. 
The  old  village  of  Cahokia  he  termed  Cahos  at  that  day  in  his 
letters.  While  Mr.  Gratiot  was  engaged  in  successful  commerce 
in  Illinois  and  having  great  influence  with  the  white  and  Indian 
population  of  the  country,  in  1778,  Gen.  Clark  invaded  the 
country  with  a  small  army,  bearing  on  its  banners  liberty  and 
independence.  Altho  Gratiot  had  been  educated  in  England, 
yet  the  spirit  of  his  dear  native  Switzerland  burned  strong  in 
his  heart  for  liberty  and  without  hesitation,  his  sound  judgment 
and  his  generous  impulses  for  freedom  declared  for  Clark  and 
the  American  Revolution.  This  was  not  an  empty  declaration, 
but  he  embarked  his  whole  energies  and  fortune  in  the  cause  of 
the  Revolution. 

It  is  known  to  all  that  Clark  had  received  scarcely  any  means 
from  Virginia  to  conquer  and  retain  the  Illinois  country.  The 
army  commanded  by  Clark  was  in  a  starving  and  destitute  con- 
dition, except  they  were  supported  by  the  resources  of  the 
country.  They  remained  in  the  Illinois  and  Wabash  countries 
for  several  years  and  were  sustained  by  the  inhabitants  of  the 
country  during  that  time.  The  French  inhabitants  were  too 
poor  to  give  away  their  substance  and  the  support  of  the  army 
fell  on  Gratiot,  Vigo,  and  other  such  choice  spirits,  for  the  most 
of  the  above  crisis.  If  these  supplies  were  not  given  by  Gratiot 
and  others,  the  great  and  glorious  campaign  of  Clark  must  have 
failed  for  the  time  being ;  but  the  generous  heart  of  Gratiot 
hesitated  not  a  moment  and  he  came  to  the  rescue.  Gratiot 
paid  to  the  citizens  and  became  accountable  to  them  to  the  full 
amount  of  his  vast  estate  for  supplies  for  the  American  army. 
His  heart  and  soul  were  enlisted  in  the  cause  of  human  freedom. 
The  blood  of  the  country  of  Tell  burned  in  his  veins  and  all 
his  means  were  exhausted  in  the  glorious  conquest  of  Illinois. 
He  paid  at  several  times  for  army  supplies  as  much  or  more 
than  he  was  worth  at  the  time  of  the  conquest  of  the  country; 
but  his  talents  and  energies  soon  enabled  him  to  become 
wealthy  again. 

At  the  time,  both  Virginia  and  the  colonies,  and  for  a  long; 

<j  O 

time  after,  were  unable  to  refund  to  him  the  amount  of  money 
he  so  generously  expended  in  the  conquest  of  Illinois,  and  in 
fact  not  much  if  any  has  ever  been  paid  back  to  him  or  his 


family  by  the  government  to  this  day.  Virginia,  always  noble 
and  generous  in  her  councils,  agreed  to  give  Gratiot  thirty  thou- 
sand acres  of  land  on  the  southeast  bank  of  the  Ohio,  including 
the  present  City  of  Louisville;  but  before  the  grant  was  com- 
pleted, Kentucky  was  organized  as  a  State  over  the  country 
and  the  promise  to  Gratiot  was  never  completed — more  for  the 
want  of  application  than  otherwise.  The  general  assembly  of 
Virginia  placed  the  claims  of  Gratiot  on  the  list  to  be  paid  prior 
to  many  other  debts;  but  his  claims  remain  unpaid,  with  many 
others  of  a  similar  character,  to  the  present  time. 

Not  only  the  operations  of  the  army  under  Gen.  Clark  would 
have  been  crippled  for  the  want  of  supplies  if  Gratiot  and  others 
had  not  given  them;  but  the, various  treaties  made  by  that  great 
and  talented  general,  Clark,  would  not  have  been  so  many  or 
so  favorable  if  it  were  not  for  the  aid  these  great  and  eminent 
patriots  afforded  him.  When  Gratiot  saw  his  country  free  from 
British  despotism  and  his  exertions  for  the  independence  of 
America  crowned  with  success,  he  retired  from  the  public  ser- 
vice and  confined  himself  more  to  domestic  enjoyments.  Altho 
he  employed  his  exertions  and  expended  his  fortune  for  the 
emancipation  of  his  country,  without  pecuniary  compensation, 
yet  his  heart  exulted  with  great  joy  to  see  the  colonies  free, 
which  was  superior  to  any  other  payment  that  earth  could 
bestow  on  him. 

He  married,  in  1781,  a  Miss  Chouteau,  a  sister  of  Auguste  and 
Pierre  Chouteau  of  St.  Louis,  Upper  Louisiana.  This  family 
were  the  founders  of  St.  Louis  in  1764,  and  were  of  the  first 
standing  and  respectability  in  the  West.  Gratiot,  after  his  mar- 
riage, made  St.  Louis  his  residence  for  life  and  became  one  of 
the  most  conspicuous  characters  in  Upper  Louisiana.  In  the 
decline  of  life,  he  abandoned  the  Indian  trade  and  turned  his 
energies  to  more  domestic  employments.  He  was  engaged  in 
manufacturing  salt  on  the  Merrimac,  west  of  St.  Louis,  and 
turned'his  attention  to  the  lead-mines  of  the  Upper  Mississippi. 
He  also  acquired  a  large  quantity  of  land  west  of  St.  Louis  and 
made  a  plantation  on  it  near  the  Riviere  des  Peres.  He  pur- 
chased slaves  in  Virginia  and  cultivated  this  farm.  He  resided 
on  it  at  intervals  and  improved  on  it  a  very  large  plantation  for 
that  day. 



After  enjoying  life  for  sixty-five  years  and  the  most  part  very 
active  and  important  transactions  he  performed,  he  died  in  St. 
Louis  in  1817,  amidst  the  tears  and  lamentations  of  his  family 
and  friends  for  the  affection  and  respect  they  owed  him  and  for 
the  loss  they  sustained  in  his  decease.  He  was  frank,  open,  and 
candid  in  all  his  transactions,  public  and  private,  and  his  hon- 
esty and  integrity  were  always  above  suspicion.  He  was  moral 
and  exemplary  in  his  deportment,  and  altho  he  was  never  a 
member  of  any  church,  yet  his  conduct  was  approved  by  the 
wise  and  good  of  all  denominations. 

He  raised  a  large  and  interesting  family.*  One  of  his  sons, 
Henry  Gratiot,*f*  was  an  Indian  agent  for  the  Winnebagoes  for 
nany  years  and  died  in  that  office.  Charles  Gratiot,  +  another 
son,  was  placed  in  the  military  academy  at  West  Point  and 
graduated  in  that  institution  with  much  honor  and  high  reputa- 
tion for  his  talents  and  the  progress  he  made  in  the  sciences 
taught  at  that  academy,  and  was,  after  long  and  arduous  ser- 
vices, promoted  to  the  head  of  the  engineer  corps  of  the  United 

*  His  family,  who  survived  him,  consisted  of  four  sons  and  five  daughters. 

t  Henry  Gratiot,  second  son,  born  St.  Louis,  Apr.  25,  1789;  moved  to  Fevre- River 
Lead-Mines,  now  Galena,  111.,  Oct. ,1825,  on  account  of  his  aversion  to  slavery  and  a 
desire  to  bring  up  his  family  in  a  free-state;  married,  June  21,  1813,  Susan,  dau.  of 
Stephen  Hempstead — a  Revolutionary  soldier,  and  one  of  the  earliest  (1811)  emigrants 
from  Conn,  to  St. Louis,  Upper  Louisiana  ter'y — father  of  Hon.  Edward  Hempstead, 
first  delegate  in  congress  from  Missouri  Terr'y,  and  of  Chas.  S.  Hempstead,  one  of 
Galena's  early  lawyers,  as  well  as  of  Wm.  Hempstead,  a  prominent  and  influential 
merchant  of  early  Galena.  Henry  with  a  younger  brother,  Jean  Pierre  Bugnion  Gra- 
tiot, were  among  the  first  to  develop  the  Fevre-River  Lead-Mines,  and  for  a  long  time 
maintained  a  large  mining-and-smelting  business  at  Gratiot's  Grove,  now  in  Lafayette 
Co.,  Wis. ;  enjoying  the  Indians'  confidence,  he  was  enabled  to  exert  great  influence 
over  them  during  the  Blackhawk  war,  rendering  inestimable  services  to  the  entire 
white  population;  d.  Barnum's  Hotel,  Baltimore,  Md.,  Apr.  27,  1836;  four  sons  sur- 
vived him:  Chas.  H.  Gratiot,  b.  St.  Louis,  Jan.  9,  1814,  d.  Gratiot,  Wis.,  Mch.  15, 
1883;  Lt.-Col.  Edw.  Hempstead  Gratiot,  b.  St.  Louis,  June  19, 1817,  late  ass't-pay.  U.- 
S.  A.,  d.  Platteville,  Wis.,  Dec.  17,  1882;  Henry  Gratiot,  b.  St.  Louis,  Oct.  25,  1824, 
resides  at  Smartsville,  Cal. ;  and  Stephen  Hempstead  Gratiot,  b.  St.  Louis,  Nov.  21, 
1831,  d.  Wash.,  D.  C.,  Dec.  17,  1864;  his  only  surviving  daughter,  Adele,  is  the  wife 
of  Hon.  E.  B.  Washburne,  late  U.-S.  minister  to  France,  and  now  living  in  Chicago. 

J  Gen.  Chas.  Gratiot,  eldest  son,  born  St.  Louis,  Aug.  29,  1786;  admitted  to  West 
Point  from  Missouri  Terr'y,  July  17,  1804;  2d  lieut.  eng'rs,  Oct.  30,  1806;  capt,  Feb. 
23,1808;  chief-eng.  Maj.-Gen.  Harrison's  army  in  1812-3;  bvt.-col.  Mich,  militia,  Oct. 
5,  1814;  eng.  in  defence  of  Ft.  Meigs,  April  and  May,  1813;  married  Ann  Belin, 
Phila.,  Apr.  22, 1819;  attack  on  Ft.  Mackinac,  Aug.  4, 1814;  maj.,  Feb.  9, 1815;  lieut.- 
col.,  Mch.  31,  1819;  col.  and  prin.  eng.,  May  24,  1828;  brevet  brig. -gen.,  "for  merito- 
rious service  and  general  good  conduct,"  May  24,  1828  (Sept.  29);  inspector  to  mili- 
tary academy,  May,  1828,  to  Dec.,  1838;  died  at  St.  Louis,  Mo.,  May  18,  1855. 


States  and  honored  with  the  office  of  general  of  that  scientific 
department.  He  remained  in  this  high  and  dignified  station 
for  many  years,  performing  the  most  scientific  and  difficult 
duties  the  government  had  to  transact  in  this  department.  He 
was  the  officer  that  directed  and  governed  the  construction  of 
Fortress  Monroe,  at  old  Point  Comfort  on  the  Chesapeake  Bay, 
which  will  remain  for  ages,  a  splendid  monument  of  the  talents 
and  science  of  Gen.  Charles  Gratiot.  For  durability  and  for 
scientific  proportions  and  work,  there  is  no  fortification,  perhaps, 
in  America  which  surpasses  that  of  Fortress  Monroe.  The 
war  department  ordered  Gen.  Gratiot  to  take  into  custody  the 
amount  of  money  necessary  to  construct  the  fortress  and  dis- 
burse the  same.  Under  the  order  of  the  department,  the  gen- 
eral took  charge  of  the  funds  and  paid  out,  in  the  construction 
of  the  fortification,  perhaps  two  or  three  millions  of  dollars.  It 
had  been  the  uniform  practise  of  the  disbursing  officer,  for  his 
responsibility  and  care  in  keeping  and  paying  out  the  money 
in  such  cases,  to  retain  a  certain  percentage  on  the  money  dis- 
bursed. Gen.  Gratiot  retained  the  customary  percentage  and 
without  trial  or  explanation  was  dismissed  from  the  service  for 
the  above-supposed  offence. 

Others  of  his  children  were  also  conspicuous  and  respectable 
citizens.  Judge  Gratiot  of  St.  Louis  County,  Missouri,  held  the 
office  for  many  years  of  county  judge  and  acquitted  himself 
well  in  that  office.  One  of  his  daughters  married  J.  P.  Cab- 
banne,  who  was  a  talented,  efficient  business  man.  Another 
married  Pierre  Chouteau,  Jr.,  who  is  one  of  the  most  talented 
and  enterprising  merchants  in  the  country.  He  was  for  many 
years  the  head  of  a  large  company  that  traded  to  the  Rocky 
Mountains,  and  by  his  commerce  and  other  industry,  he  has 
acquired  an  immense  fortune.  The  descendants  of  this  Revo- 
lutionary patriot  and  meritorious  pioneer  are  numerous  and 
respectable,  located  in  St.  Louis  and  in  many  other  sections  of 
the  Union.  They  may  all  look  back  with  honest  pride  and 
exultation  to  their  illustrious  ancestor  and  say  of  him  with  the 
great  poet: 

"An  honest  man  is  the  noblest  work  of  God." 

John  Beaird  and  family  emigrated  from  Wayne  County,  Ky., 
to  Randolph  County,  111.,  in  1801,  and  settled  on  the  east  side 


of  the  Kaskaskia  River,  four  miles  northeast  of  Kaskaskia  vil- 
lage. Beaird  was  born  in  Virginia  and  raised  in  the  mountains 
of  New  River  of  that  State.  He  came  to  Tennessee  in  1787, 
and  married  a  connection  of  my  father.  He  was  located  on  the 
frontiers  of  Knox  County,  Tenn.,  while  the  Cherokee  Indians 
were  hostile  and  did  much  damage  to  the  settlements  in  the 
northern  section  of  Knox  County.  Beaird  was  uniformly 
elected  a  captain  to  pursue  the  Indians  when  any  depredations 
were  committed.  He  was  brave,  energetic,  and  decisive  in  his 
character  and  possessed  a  strong,  uncultivated  mind,  but  had 
not  attended  to  an  early  education.  His  person  was  stout  and 
comely  and  his  courage  was  never  doubted;  but  on  the  con- 
trary, this  trait  of  his  character  was  often  tested  in  both  private 
and  public  acts. 

In  1793,  the  Creek  Indians  intended  an  invasion  of  West 
Tennessee,  called  at  that  day,  Cumberland,  and  William  Blount, 
the  governor  of  the  Southwest  Territory,  gave  Major  Beaird 
the  following  order,  dated  at  Knoxville,  April  18,  1793: 

"  SIR  : — The  object  of  your  command  is  to  relieve  the  Cum- 
berland inhabitants,  Meroe  district,  from  a  powerful  invasion  of 
the  Creeks." 

Major  Beaird  had  under  him  one  hundred  and  twenty-five 
men.  He  marched  from  Knoxville  to  Nashville,  two  hundred 
miles;  met  some  Creek  Indians;  killed  a  few,  and  returned 
home  in  good  order  with  his  command.  On  May  28,  1793, 
Gov.  Blount  ordered  Beaird  to  pursue  certain  Indians  with  fifty 
mounted  men  and  scour  the  Cumberland  Mountains.  The 
Indians  had  killed  two  citizens  near  Clinch  River,  of  the  name 
of  Gillum.  The  country  at  that  day  was  in  a  singular  situa- 
tion. On  one  side  of  the  Tennessee  River,  the  Indians  pre- 
tended peace  and  the  government  prevented  the  troops  from 
crossing  the  river  in  search  of  those  Indians  committing  mur- 
ders on  the  frontiers.  When  an  Indian  committed  any  aggres- 
sion on  the  whites,  he  would  flee  to  the  peace  side  of  the  Ten- 
nessee and  be  secure  from  the  whites.  The  Cherokees,  who 
resided  on  their  side  of  the  river,  concealed  the  murderers  and 
put  the  crime  on  the  Creeks.  The  policy  of  the  government 
and  the  practise  of  the  Indians  inflamed  the  minds  of  the 
people  to  the  utmost  excitement. 


When  Capt.  Beaird  organized  his  company  of  fifty  mounted 
men,  to  pursue  the  murderers  of  the  Gillums,  he,  in  defiance  of 
his  orders,  crossed  the  Tennessee  and  chastised  the  Indians  at 
Hanging-Maw's  Town,  so  called.  He  killed  several  Indians 
there.  Beaird  was  daring  and  decisive  and  took  the  responsi- 
bility. Nine-tenths  of  the  people  approved  of  his  course.  The 
government  ordered  a  court-martial  to  try  him,  but  he  laughed 
at  a  trial.  He  and  company  found  in  the  nation  a  quantity  of 
Indian  goods  which  the  government  had  there  to  present  to  the, 
Indians  if  a  treaty  were  made  with  them.  Beaird  and  men 
took  the  goods  from  the  guard  and  burned  them.  All  these 
proceedings  were  sustained  by  the  people,  but  highly  condemned 
by  the  government. 

In  all  the  Indian  wars  on  the  frontiers  of  Knox  County,  Ten- 
nessee, Beaird  was  the  most  efficient,  bold,  and  daring  officer  in 
the  service.  He, did  more  service  with  the  least  means  than 
any  other  officer  on  the  frontiers.  When  the  State  government 
was  formed,  he  was  elected  from  Knox  County  to  the  general 
assembly  of  the  State  and  his  public  services  were  always  held 
in  high  estimation  by  the  people  of  Knox  County.  He  moved 
from  Tennessee  to  Kentucky  and  thence  to  Illinois,  as  above 
stated.  He  made  an  excellent  citizen  in  this  new,  wild  coun- 
try ;  improved  a  large  plantation  and  assisted  to  change  the 
habits  and  customs  of  the  people  from  hunting  and  idleness  to 
work  and  industry,  which  the  country  at  that  day  much  needed. 
He  died  in  1809,  leaving  a  large  family  of  children. 

One  of  his  sons,  Joseph  A.  Beaird,  in  after-days,  became  a 
conspicuous  and  respectable  citizen.  He  represented  Monroe 
County  in  the  general  assembly  for  many  sessions  and  made  an 
efficient  and  conspicuous  member.  He  possessed  a  sound  mind, 
with  much  polish  of  manners.  Gentility  and  urbanity  of  man- 
ners seemed  to  be  natural  with-  him.  He  was  honorable  and 
rather  chivalric  in  his  character;  his  probity,  punctuality,  and 
honesty  always  ranged  high  and  above  suspicion.  His  neigh- 
borhood made  him  their  executor-general,  while  he  would  con- 
sent to  do  the  business  appertaining  to  that  troublesome  situa- 
tion, lie  died  in  1829,  aged  forty  years,  leaving  a  considerable 
property  and  several  children. 

Another  son,  William  A.  Beaird,  the  old  sheriff  of  St.  Clair 


County,  almost  every  one  in  the  county  knew.  He  was  blessed 
with  a  sound,  solid  judgment,  altho  he  did  not  use  it  as  it 
seemed  to.  his  friends  he  might  have  done.  He  obstinately 
refused  to  become  educated  or  to  receive  any  information  thro 
the  medium  of  books  or  from  print  in  any  manner  whatever. 
He  possessed  much  practical  knowledge,  which  he  acquired  by 
observation  and  his  intercourse  with  the  people.  He  never  mar- 
ried. He  was  kind  and  benevolent,  particularly  to  the  poor  and 
distressed.  Any  one  in  distress,  no  matter  what  color,  nation, 
or  kindred,  were  sure  of  Beaird's  assistance  if  he  knew  of  the 
case.  He  was  appointed  deputy-sheriff  in  1815,  and  continued 
in  that  situation  until  the  State  government  was  organized,  in 
1818;  then  he  was  elected  by  the  people  and  continued  in  that 
office  by  biennial  elections  for  twelve  years.  In  all,  he  per- 
formed the  duties  of  that  office  for  about  fifteen  years.  He  was 
at  one  time  very  popular;  his  kindness  to  the  people  made  a 
lasting  impression  on  them.  Many  in  the  county  owe  their 
taxes  to  him  at  this  day.  He  died  in  Belleville  in  1843. 

In  1801,  that  dreadful  scourge,  the  small-'pox,  made  its 
appearance  in  St.  Louis.  Many  of  the  citizens  of  Cahokia 
were  inoculated  by  Dr.  Sougrin  of  St.  Louis  and  were  lodged 
in  his  hospital  in  that  city.  It  never  came  into  Cahokia  so  as 
to  sweep  entirely  over  the  village.  It  reached  the  vicinity  of 
Kaskaskia  some  few  years  after  and  was  principally  confined  to 
a  house  of  refuge,  erected  by  Dr.  Fisher  at  his  plantation,  six 
miles  out  of  town,  at  the  foot  of  the  bluff,  on  the  road  from 
Cahokia  to  Kaskaskia.  Here  the  doctor  provided  a  hospital, 
with  all  things  necessary,  and  almost  the  whole  French  popula- 
tion passed  thro  this  dreadful  malady  at  this  place  under  the 
the  treatment  of  Dr.  Fisher.  I  think  very  few  died  in  this  hos- 
pital. The  citizens  of  Kaskaskia  kept  up  a  guard  all  summer 
at  the  outskirts  of  the  village  to  prevent  the  contagion  reaching 
the  town.  This  disease  did  not  reach  the  American  settlements 
at  all.  The  small-pox  never  raged  thro  the  country  and  at  last 
were  rendered  harmless  by  proper  vaccination. 

In  1797,  Abraham  Eyeman,  John  Teter,  William  Miller,  Mr. 
Randleman,  and  a  short  time  after,  Daniel  Stookey,  located 
themselves  and  families  in  a  settlement  a  few  miles  southwest 
of  the  present  City  of  Belleville.  This  colony  was  composed 


of  industrious,  moral,  and  upright  citizens  and  it  grew  and  pros- 
pered in  the  same  proportion.  In  1802,  the  whole  country 
extended  its  borders.  Many  citizens — the  Ogles,  Enochs,  and 
Whitesides — left  the  older  settlements  and  located  themselves 
in  the  fine,  healthy  country  northeast  of  the  present  City  of 
Belleville.  This  colony  settled  on  that  beautiful  tract  of  coun- 
try known  as  Ridge  Prairie,  extending  from  two  to  eight  or  ten 
miles  from  Belleville.  In  this  same  year,  1802,  the  Goshen  Set- 
tlement was  enlarged  and  improved.  The  Gilham  and  White- 
side  families  settled  there.  These  two  large  connections  em- 
braced nearly  all  the  inhabitants  of  the  settlement.  The  Caster- 
lands,  Seybolds,  Groots,  and  some  others  located  at  the  foot  of 
the  bluff,  above  the  Quentine  Creek.  In  1803,  Samuel  and  Joel 
Whiteside  made  the  first  improvements  on  the  Ridge  Prairie, 
six  or  eight  miles  south  of  the  present  town  of  Edwardsville. 

These  settlements  were  made  mostly  by  the  pioneers  who 
had  been  already  in  the  country  for  many  years  and  who  had 
been  accustomed  to  a  frontier  life.  This  frontier  was  exposed 
to  Indians  not  entirely  friendly  to  the  whites  and  it  required 
the  most  hardy  and  brave  old  settlers  to  brook  the  fierce  and 
savage  bands  of  Indians  that  infested  the  settlements  at  that 
day.  Dennis  and  Vanmeter  had  been  recently  killed  and  the 
whites  were  distrustful  of  the  Indians  for  many  years  in  the 
early  settlement  of  the  country. 

It  must  be  recollected  that  fifty  years  ago  the  whole  country 
was  crowded  with  aborigines  and  there  was  a  very  small  amount 
of  white  population  in  proportion.  On  the  frontiers  in  Ran- 
dolph, the  inhabitants  were  not  so  much  exposed  to  the  fierce 
and  hostile  bands  of  Indians  as  those  in  the  north.  What  also 
prevented  the  growth  of  the  country  was  the  want  of  mills, 
schools,  and  houses  of  worship.  All  these  difficulties  taken 
tDgether  were  adverse  to  the  speedy  growth  of  the  country. 
These  colonies  in  Illinois  lingered  in  this  condition  for  many 
years.  When  a  brave,  hardy,  independent  family  came  and 
settled  among  these  original  pioneers,  it  was  hailed  as  a  jubilee 
and  all  treated  the  new-comers  as  brothers. 

The  most  trouble  and  labor  was  in  either  obtaining  corn-meal 
or  doing  without  it.  Flour  at  that  time  was  not  much  in  use. 
All  the  frontiers  of  Goshen  Settlement  and  in  fact  all  the  upper 


colonies  were  compelled  to  go  to  Cahokia  or  to  Judy's  mill, 
near  Whiteside's  Station,  for  their  grinding.  The  extreme  set- 
tlements were  forced  to  travel  fifty  miles  or  more  for  their  meal 
for  many  years.  This  is  the  necessary  result  of  a  pioneer's  life. 
To  relieve  absolute  want,  the  band-mill,  propelled  by  horse- 
power, was  the  pioneer  that  made  its  appearance  and  was  hailed 
as  a  kind  of  Godsend.  Several  of  these  mills  were  erected  in 
Goshen  Settlement.  The  Fruits  built  one  at  the  edge  of  the 
prairie  a  few  miles  east  of  the  present  town  of  Collinsville. 
Talbot  had  first  a  horse-mill  and  afterward  a  small  water-mill 
on  the  Quentine  Creek,  south  of  Collinsville.  Cornelius  built  a 
water-mill  on  the  same  creek,  below.  Elliot  had  a  horse-mill 
south  of  the  present  Edwardsville  about  three  miles.  Carpenter 
kept  one  in  the  Six-Mile  Prairie  and  Thomas  Kirkpatrick  built 
a  water-mill  many  times  on  Cahokia  Creek,  adjoining  the 
present  Edwardsville.  These  were  the  pioneer  mills  of  the 
frontiers  for  many  years  and  were  built  before  1807.  I  have 
myself  rode  on  bags  to  the  most  of  them  when  I  was  a  lad 
residing  with  my  father  in  Goshen. 

In  early  times,  McCann  owned  a  horse-mill  of  much  celebrity 
and  standing.  This  mill  was  situated  a  few  miles  east  of  Tur- 
key Hill  and  was  attended  by  its  customers  far  and  near.  The 
mill  of  Hosea  Rigg  was  a  few  miles  west  of  that  of  McCann. 
About  this  time,  Chapman  built  a  small  water-mill  on  the  creek 
west  of  Belleville  and  old  Mr.  Schook  erected  a  still  smaller 
one  on  the  small  branch  west  of  the  mill  of  Chapman.  These 
water-mills  were  like  faith  without  works,  not  worth  much.  In 
the  southern  settlements,  the  people  procured  their  grinding  at 
the  New  Design,  Levens',  or  at  Kaskaskia.  Under  these  cir- 
cumstances, what  great  rejoicing  it  was  with  the  people  when 
green  corn  and  potatoes  made  their  appearance  and  were  fit  for 
use.  To  procure  grinding  was  the. greatest  trouble  and  incon- 
venience of  the  new  settlements.  This  want  of  mills  retarded 
the  improvement  of  the  country  in  early  times  more  than  all 
other  considerations.  Schools  and  preaching  could  be  dispensed 
with  better  than  corn-meal. 

The  country  at  that  day  was  more  sickly  than  it  is  at  present ; 
but  the  only  disease  then  was  the  bilious  fevers  with  the  pleu- 
risy at  rare  intervals.  The  bilious  attacks  showed  themselves 


mostly  in  the  form  of  fever  and  ague.  The  fever  without  the 
ague  or  some  chill  with  it  was  not  frequent.  These  diseases 
attacked  the  people  in  the  latter  part  of  the  summer  and  in  the 
fall  and  were  very  common,  but  not  often  fatal.  The  sickness 
at  this  time  is  not  so  common,  but  more  malignant  and  dan- 
gerous. Many  in  olden  times  were  sick  in  the  fall,  but  few 
died.  By  improvement  or  by  some  other  means,  the  diseases 
of  the  country  have  changed  within  the  last  fifty  years  to  be 
much  fewer  cases,  but  more  fatal.  The  remedies  to  cure  the 
bilious  fever  and  ague  in  the  first  settlement  of  the  country 
were  tartar  -  emetic,  calomel,  and  jalap  and  peruvian  barks. 
These  were  the  uniform  and  universal  medicines  and  they  gen- 
erally succeeded.  When  the  patient  was  weak  after  the  fever, 
the  doctors  prescribed  stimulus  of  wine,  etc.  But  in  the  fall, 
after  the  sickness  disappeared  and  all  things  were  plenty,  the 
citizens  soon  forgot  the  disease  and  turned  their  attention  to 
fun,  frolic,  and  hunting. 

In  pure  pioneer  times,  the  crops  of  corn  were  never  husked 
on  the  stalk,  as  is  done  at  this  day;  but  was  hauled  home  in 
the  husk  and  thrown  in  a  heap,  generally  by  the  side  of  the 
crib,  so  that  the  ears  when  husked  could  be  thrown  direct  into 
the  crib.  The  whole  neighborhood,  male  and  female,  were  in- 
vited to  the  shucking,  as  it  was  called.  The  girls  and  many  of 
the  married  ladies  generally  engaged  in  this  amusing  work.  In 
the  first  place,  two  leading,  expert  huskers  were  chosen  as  cap- 
tains and  the  heap  of  corn  divided  as  near  equal  as  possible. 
Rails  were  laid  across  the  pile,  so  as  to  designate  the  division, 
and  then  each  captain  chose  alternately  his  corps  of  huskers, 
male  and  female.  The  whole  number  of  working  hands  present 
were  selected  on  one  side  or  the  other  and  then  each  party  com- 
menced a  contest  to  beat  the  other,  which  was  in  many  cases 
truly  exciting.  One  other  rule  was  that  whenever  a  male  husked 
a  red  ear  of  corn,  he  was  entitled  to  a  kiss  from  the  girls.  This 
frequently  excited  much  fuss  and  scuffling,  which  was  intended 
by  both  parties  to  end  in  a  kiss. 

It  was  a  universal  practise  that  tafia  or  Monongahela  whisky 
was  used  at  these  husking  frolics,  which  they  drank  out  of  a 
bottle — each  one,  male  and  female,  taking  the  bottle  and  drink- 
ing out  of  it  and  then  handing  it  to  his  next  neighbor,  without 


vising  any  glass  or  cup  whatever.  This  custom  was  common 
and  not  considered  rude.  The  bread  used  at  these  frolics  was 
baked  generally  on  johnny  or  journey-cake  boards  and  is  the 
best  corn-bread  ever  made.  A  board  is  made  smooth,  about 
two  feet  long  and  eight  inches  wide ;  the  ends  are  generally 
rounded.  The  dough  is  spread  out  on  this  board  and  placed 
leaning  before  the  fire.  One  side  is  baked  and  then  the  dough 
is  changed  on  the  board,  so  the  other  side  is  presented  in  its 
turn  to  the  fire.  This  is  johnny-cake  and  is  good  if  the  proper 
materials  are  put  in  the  dough  and  it  is  properly  baked.  Almost 
always  these  corn-shuckings  ended  in  a  dance.  To  prepare  for 
this  amusement,  fiddles  and  fiddlers  were  in  great  demand  and 
it  often  required  much  fast  riding  to  obtain  them.  One  violin 
and  a  performer  were  all  that  was  contemplated  at  these  inno- 
cent, rural  dances. 

Toward  dark  and  the  supper  half  over,  then  it  was  that  a 
bustle  and  confusion  commenced.  The  confusion  of  tongues 
at  Babel  would  have  been  ashamed  of  those  at  the  corn-shuck- 
ings.  The  young  ones  hurrying  off  the  table  and  the  old  ones 
contending  for  time  and  order.  It  was  the  case  nine  times  out 
of  ten  that  but  one  dwelling-house  was  on  the  premises  and 
that  used  for  eating  as  well  as  dancing.  But  when  the  fiddler 
commenced  tuning  his  instrument,  the  music  always  gained  the 
victory  for  the  young  side.  Then  the  dishes,  victuals,  table, 
and  all  disappeared  in  a  few  minutes  and  the  room  was  cleared, 
the  dogs  drove  out,  and  the  floor  swept  off,  ready  for  action. 
The  floors  of  these  houses  were  sometimes  the  natural  earth, 
beat  solid;  sometimes  the  earth  with  puncheons  in  the  middle 
over  the  potato  hole,  and  at  times  the  whole  floor  was  made  of 
puncheons.  Sawed  planks  or  boards  were  not  at  all  common 
in  early  times. 

The  music  at  these  country  dances  made  the  young  folks 
almost  frantic  and  sometimes  much  excitement  was  displayed 
to  get  first  on  the  floor  to  dance.  Generally  the  fiddler  on  these 
occasions  assumed  an  important  bearing  and  ordered  in  true 
professional  style  so  and  so  to  be  done;  as  that  was  the  way  in 
North  Carolina,  where  he  was  raised.  This  decision  ended  the 
contest  for  the  floor.  In  those  days  they  danced  jigs  and  four- 
handed  reels,  as  they  were  called.  Sometimes  three-handed 


reels  were  also  danced.  In  those  dances  there  was  no  standing 
still.  All  were  moving  at  the  same  time,  at  a  rapid  pace,  from 
the  beginning  to  the  end.  In  the  jigs,  the  by-standers  cut  one 
another  out,  as  it  was  called,  so  that  this  dance  would  last  for 
hours  at  times.  Sometimes  the  parties  in  a  jig  tried  to  tire  one 
another  down  in  the  dance  and  then  it  would  also  last  a  long 
time  before  one  or  the  other  gave  up.  The  cotillons  or  stand- 
still dances  were  not  then  known.  Waltzes  were  introduced 
into  the  country  at  a  late  day  by  the  Europeans. 

The  dress  of  these  hardy  pioneers  was  generally  in  plain 
homespun.  The  hunting-shirt  was  much  worn  at  that  time, 
which  is  a  convenient  working  or  dancing- dress.  Sometimes 
dressed  deer-skin  pantaloons  were  used  on  these  occasions  and 
moccasons,  rarely  shoes,  and  at  times,  bare  feet  were  indulged 
in.  The  bottle  went  round  at  these  parties  like  it  did  at  the 
shuckings  and  male  and  female  took  a  dram  out  of  it  as  it 
passed  around.  No  sitting  was  indulged  in  and  the  folks  either 
stood  up  or  danced  all  night,  as  generally  daylight  ended  the 
frolic.  A  great  deal  of  good  feeling  was  enjoyed  in  these  inno- 
cent parties  and  very  little  of  the  green-eyed  monster  was  dis- 
played on  these  occasions.  Mothers  could  then  praise  with 
sincerity  the  beauty  and  the  grace  in  the  dance  of  their  neigh- 
bors' daughters ;  while  at  this  refined  and  civilized  day,  such 
praises  come  only  from  the  lips  and  scarcely  that  deep.  Exces- 
sive refinement  and  accomplishments  may  polish  the  outside; 
but  it  is  doubtful  if  the  inside  is  made  better  by  the  operation. 

Many  a  sweet  love-story  was  told  over,  in  a  laughing  manner, 
by  the  young  hunters  or  farmers  to  their  sweethearts  during 
these  nights  of  innocent  amusement.  The  young  man  of  eigh- 
teen would  cough,  choke,  and  spit,  look  pale,  and  sweat  when 
he  was  about  to  tell  his  girl  the  secret  movements  of  his  heart 
in  her  favor,  while  his  heart  thumped  with  almost  as  loud  a 
noise  as  a  pheasant  beating  on  a  log.  The  girl  received  these 
outpourings  of  her  lover's  heart  with  such  sparkling  eyes  and 
countenance  that  it  spoke  volumes  of  love  to  her  beau.  These 
love  contracts  that  ended  in  marriage  were  frequently  made  at 
the  dances. 

What  ineffable  pleasure  it  was  to  these  young  folks  to  dance 
together,  who  had  in  sincerity  unfolded  their  hearts  to  each 


other.  These  honest,  unsophisticated  children  of  nature  love 
with  more  sincerity  and  honesty  than  the  excessively  refined 
and  educated  do.  In  the  morning,  all  go  home  on  horseback 
or  on  foot.  No  carriages,  wagons,  or  other  wheeled  vehicles 
were  used  on  these  occasions  for  the  best  of  reasons :  because 
they  had  none. 

The  pioneers  dropped  slowly  into  the  Illinois  country.  Jacob 
Judy  was  a  very  ancient  and  respectable  pioneer  in  Illinois.  He 
came  and  settled  in  Kaskaskia  in  1788.  He  was  born  in  Ger- 
many and  emigrated  to  the  United  States  when  he  was  six 
years  old.  He  married  in  Frederick  County,  Maryland;  moved 
to  Pittsburg,  where  he  worked  for  the  public  at  the  gunsmith 
business  for  many  years  and  received  nothing  for  it.  He  had 
three  children.  In  1786,  he  and  family  descended  the  Ohio 
River  to  Kentucky.  On  the  fiver,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Scioto, 
he  heard  the  Indians  making  noises  to  decoy  him  to  land;  but 
he  kept  straight  on.  He  had  but  one  man  with  him  besides  his 
family.  His  daughter,  Nancy  Judy,  then  eighteen  years  old— 
who  is  still  alive  and  eighty  years  of  age — steered  the  boat, 
while  her  father,  her  brother,  Samuel  Judy,  his  son,  and  the 
hired  man  rowed  the  craft  with  all  possible  speed  by  this  dan- 
gerous section  of  the  river.  He  remained  two  years  near  Louis- 
ville in  Kentucky  and  descended  the  Ohio  in  a  flat-boat.  He 
was  forced  up  Cache  River,  in  the  present  county  of  Alexander, 
for  protection  from  the  Indians  and  remained  there  for  seven 
weeks  until  a  boat  could  come  from  Kaskaskia  to  his  relief. 
He  resided  at  Kaskaskia  four  years  and  then  moved,  in  1792, 
to  the  New  Design.  In  1794,  he  settled  at  his  mill  and  died 
there  in  1807. 

Judy  worked  at  his  trade  in  Illinois  and  accumulated  con- 
siderable property.  He  possessed  a  strong  mind,  with  much 
enterprise  and  energy.  Samuel  Judy,  his  only  son,  came  with 
his  father  to  Illinois  in  1788,  and  became  a  conspicuous  and 
enterprising  citizen.  He  married  into  the  Whiteside  family  and 
settled  in  Goshen,  as  before  stated,  in  1801.  In  his  youth,  he 
was  active  and  vigorous  and  was  always  ready  and  willing  to 
enter  into  any  campaign  against  the  Indians  or  to  do  battle 
with  them. 

In   1794,  Joel  Whiteside  was  driving  a  yoke  of  oxen  about 


one  hundred  and  fifty  yards  southwest  of  the  public  square  in 
the  present  town  of  Waterloo  and  an  Indian  shot  him.  The 
ball  passed  thro  his  body,  but  did  not  kill  him.  Judy,  Todd, 
Andy  Kinney,  and  some  others  pursued  the  Indian  with  dogs 
and  guns;  overtook  the  murderer  and  killed  him  under  a  large 
tree  which  stood  near  the  main  road,  about  half  a  mile  south  of 
Whiteside's  Station.  The  tree  is  now  cut  down  and  a  field 
made  round  it.  Young  Samuel  Judy  was  very  active  and  ener- 
getic in  the  pursuit  of  this  Indian  and  displayed  the  warrior  in 
this,  his  first  Indian  skirmish.  In  two  desperate  conflicts  with 
the  Indians — one  on  Shoal  Creek  with  old  Pecon  and  the  other 
near  the  bluff  and  below  the  place  where  the  macadamized  road 
descends  it — Judy  showed  himself  to  be  the  bravest  of  the  brave. 

In  the  late  war  with  Great  Britain  in  1812,  he  was  always 
actively  employed  in  the  service!  He  commanded  a  company 
of  spies  in  the  campaign  under  Gov.  Edwards  in  1812,  against 
the  Indians  at  the  head  of  Peoria  Lake,  and  acquitted  himself, 
as  he  always  did,  to  the  satisfaction  of  the  public.  This  ser- 
vice in  the  campaign  of  1812  was  arduous  and  at  times  dan- 
gerous. The  spies  were  in  advance  of  the  little  army,  a  mile 
or  more,  and  were  ordered  to  fight  the  enemy,  let  him  be  great 
•  or  small,  until  the  main  army  were  placed  in  the  order  of  battle 
behind  them.  He  shot  an  Indian  near  the  Black  Partridge's 
Town,  at  the  upper  end  of  Peoria  Lake,  and  killed  him. 

In  the  next  campaign,  in  the  fall  of  1813,  he  also  commanded 
a  company  in  the  army  of  Gen.  Howard.  Like  all  his  military 
services,  he  did  his  duty  to  the  entire  satisfaction  of  the  public. 
In  many  of  the  skirmishes  on  the  frontiers,  Judy  was  active  and 
efficient,  and  at  the  same  time,  prudent  and  cautious.  He  was 
always,  in  these  military  preferments,  very  modest  and  unas- 
suming. He  never  solicited  an  office  in  his  life  and  would 
always  have  preferred  acting  as  a  private  in  these  operations 
.against  the  Indians;  but  his  neighbors  and  friends  almost  com- 
pelled him  to  take  command,  as  above  stated.  He  was  elected 
to  the  legislative  council  of  the  Illinois  Territory,  in  the  fall  of 
1812,  from  the  county  of  Madison.  This  was  the  first  legisla- 
ture that  convened  under  the  territorial  government  and  was  a 
very  important  general  assembly.  This  body  convened  at  Kas- 
kaskia  and  transacted  very  important  business  in  organizing  and 


starting  the  machinery  of  the  new  government  into  operation. 
The  finances  were  to  be  regulated ;  taxes  imposed,  and  the 
militia  organized.  These  subjects  were  of  the  greatest  impor- 
tance and  interest  to  the  people.  Judy  performed  his  duties  in 
this  office  much  to  his  credit  and  also  to  the  advantage  of  his 

Nature  had  been  bountiful  to  Judy  and  had  bestowed  on  him 
a  clear,  sound,  &nd  solid  judgment.  He  had  very  little  oppor- 
tunities of  education  and  could  barely  make  out  to  read  and 
write  and  knew  but  little  of  the  arithmetic;  but  his  condition  in 
life  and  his  strong  mind,  with  his  retentive  memory,  made  him 
a  very  able  and  efficient  member  of  the  legislative  council  of 
the  territory.  These  qualifications,  together  with  his  merited 
character  for  honesty  and  probity,  gave  him  a  standing  in  the 
legislature  which  was  not  surpassed  by  any  member  in  that 
body  and  which  was  always  wielded  for  the  benefit  of  the  public. 
He  remained  in  this  office  for  four  years  and  made  an  excellent 
member.  The  people  of  Madison  County  elected  him  to  the 
important  office  of  county  commissioner  for  many  years.  His 
solid  judgment,  together  with  his  positive  honesty  and  practical 
economy,  made  him  a  most  able  and  efficient  member  of  the 
county-court.  This  was  an  office  in  which  he  displayed  his 
talents.  The  county  levies  were  to  be  made  and  the  money 
expended  on  proper  objects.  This  required  just  the  judgment, 
honesty,  and  economy  which  he  possessed  in  such  an  eminent 
degree,  to  enable  him  to  execute  the  duties  of  the  office.  The 
finances  of  Madison  County  were  safe  in  the  hands  of  Col.  Judy. 

With  these  talents,  he  managed  his  own  private  business  with 
great  success.  He  became  wealthy  by  the  common  operations 
of  agriculture,  without  speculation  or  chicanery.  He  improved 
a  large-plantation  and  built  a  fine  brick-house — the  first  erected 
-within  the  limits  of  Madison  County.  This  house  he  built  in 
1808,  and  much  enlarged  and  improved  his  farm  the  same  year. 
In  this  new  country,  he  availed  himself  of  its  advantages  and 
raised  large  stocks  of  horses,  cattle,  hogs,  and  sheep.  The  cattle 
lived  winter  and  summer  in  the  range  and  the  horses  did  the 
same,  with  a  small  amount  of  food  in  the  bad  weather  of  the 

In  the  matured  age  of  Col.  Judy,  I,  as  the  executive  of  the 


State,  appointed  him,  with  three  others,  warden  of  the  peniten- 
tiary at  Alton.  The  duty  of  this  board  was  to  adopt  a  peniten- 
tiary system ;  erect  a  suitable  building,  and  put  the  whole 
machinery  into  complete  operation.  I  was  one  of  the  board 
and  found  that  Judy  was  a  wise,  prudent,  and  efficient  member. 
The  plan  and  system  of  the  prison  at  Alton  were  based  on  that 
of  Auburn,  New  York.  This  at  Alton  has  succeeded  admirably 
well.  He  died  at  his  residence  in  Madison  County  in  1833, 
aged  seventy-five  years.  The  death  of  Col.  Judy  was  sincerely 
regretted  by  the  public.  His  large  family  and  connections  knew 
well  his  worth  and  mourned  his  death  with  heart-felt  grief.  But 
mortality  is  born  with  all  human  beings.  It  is  the  just  law  of 
God  and  we  must  and  ought  to  submit  to  it  with  pious  resig- 

Few  men  had  a  mind  more  equally  balanced  than  his  was, 
It  was  moulded  far  above  mediocrity.  No  trait  had  the  ascend- 
ancy to  destroy  the  legitimate  operations  of  the  others.  His 
powers  of  judgment  were1  strong;  so  was  his  perception  clear 
and  discriminating.  His  imagination  was  kept  in  proper  bounds 
by  his  solid  judgment  and  his  kindness  and  benevolence  were 
strongly  marked  in  his  actions  thro  life.  His  courage  was  of 
the  unterrified  order,  which  had  been  tested  on  many  occasions 
in  the  service  of  his  country.  He  was  moral  and  correct  in  his 
habits  during  a  long  life;  never  joined  a  church,  but  sustained 
all  with  his  good-will  and  friendship.  He  never  indulged  in 
any  of  the  excesses  so  prevalent  in  his  day — of  gaming,  drink- 
ing, or  light  and  frivolous  amusements.  Judy  was  a  pioneer 
that  gave  standing  and  character  to  the  country  and  it  is  the 
seeds  sown  by  him  and  such  characters  that  have  produced  such 
fruits  in  Illinois  of  her  future  power  and  greatness.  He  left  a 
large  family  of  children  and  also  a  large  estate. 

The  stock  of  Col.  Judy  was  injured  by  that  mysterious  disease 
known  as  the  milk-sickness.  It  made  its  appearance  in  early 
times  in  his  stock  and  remains  to  this  day  rather  a  mystery  as 
to  the  cause  of  the  disease.  That  such  malady  does  exist,  there 
is  no  doubt.  The  human  family  as  well  as  animals  are  destroyed 
by  it.  I  had  a  sister  whose  death,  it  was  supposed,  was  caused 
by  it.  It  is  known  that  the  disease  is  a  poison.  Dogs  and 
other  animals  die  with  the^  poison  when  they  eat  in  the  dead 





bodies — the  victims  of  this  disease.  The  human  beings  who 
die  by  the  disease  derive  it  from  the  milk,  butter,  or  meat  of 
the  animal  infected  with  the  poison.  The  name  of  the  disease 
arises  from  the  milk  the  victims  eat.  This  much  is  ascertained; 
but  what  is  the  poison,  is  not  so  well  known.  It  is  the  general 
approved  opinion  that  the  poison  is  emitted  from  some  poison- 
ous mineral  substance  in  the  earth.  It  rises  in  a  gaseous  state; 
falls  back  on  the  vegetation ;  is  infused  in  the  water,  and  in  the 
morning  before  the  dew  is  evaporated,  the  animals  eat  the  poi- 
son with  the  vegetation  and  thereby  die.  The  disease  only 
appears  in  the  fall  of  the  year  and  in  shady,  damp  localities. 
A  vegetable  can  not  cause  the  disease  because  it  would  have 
been  discovered,  and  in  some  cases,  animals  that  are.  kept  up 
and  eat  no  green  food,  di-e  by  the  use  of  the  water  impregnated 
with  the  poison.  It  makes  its  ravages  on  stock  in  many  parts 
of  the  West.  Sometimes  for  many  years  it  almost  disappears 
and  afterward  returns  and  assumes  its  former  virulence. 

The  first  governor  of  Illinois  under  the  State  government — 
Shadrach  Bond — was  a  great,  noble,  and  talented  pioneer.  He 
stood  in  the  front  ranks  of  that  hardy  and  noble  race  of  men, 
the  ancient  pioneers  of  Illinois.  The  few  remaining  of  that 
class  may  look  back  at  Gov.  Bond  with  the  proud  recollection 
that  he  was  one  of  them  and  was  a  sample  of  good  sense, 
honesty,  and  most  of  the  virtues  that  elevate  and  dignify  the 
human  character.  Shadrach  Bond  was  born  in  Frederick  Co., 
Maryland,  in  1773,  and  was  raised  by  a  pious  father,  Nicholas 
Bond,  on  a  plantation.  He  was  educated  a  practical  farmer  and 
such  was  his  occupation  during  life,  except  the  services  in  public 
stations  he  performed,  which  detained  him  from  his  farm  for 
some  portion  of  his  time.  In  1794,  when  he  reached  his 
majority,  he  emigrated  to  Illinois  and  resided  in  the  American 
Bottom  with  his  uncle,  Shadrach  Bond,  Sr.  He  received  in 
Maryland  a  plain  English  education,  such  as  farmers  generally 
bestow  on  their  children.  But  Illinois,  when  he  reached  it,  was 
a  wild  country,  not  much  disposed  to  the  improvement  of  the 
mind  in  science  and  literature.  Yet  man  and  his  various  actions 
were  before  him  and  he  acquired  the  practical  knowledge  of 
mankind  and  the  various  springs  of  human  action.  He  learned 
in  his  early  life  much  useful  knowledge  of  all  the  various  moving 


principles  of  the  human  heart  and  availed  himself  of  this  infor- 
mation in  after-life.  Gov.  Bond  was  in  his  matured  age  an  in- 
telligent, practical  man.  He  was  not  a  lady-parlor  scholar,  who 
read  the  novels  of  lovesick  swains  and  fainting  girls;  nor  did  he 
ever  wash  his  face  with  cologne-water ;  but  he  was  nature's 
nobleman,  educated  in  the  wide  world  of  the  human  family, 
and  his  conscience  and  sound  judgment  were  his  unerring  pre- 
ceptors. Some  think  a  man  is  not  intelligent  or  learned  if -he 
were  not  cudgelled  thro  a  college  or  read  "  Robinson  Crusoe  " 
or  the  novel  of  "  Goody  Two  Shoes."  The  whole  creation 
should  be  a  man's  school-house  and  nature  his  teacher.  Bond 
studied  in  this  college  and  Providence  gave  him  a  diploma. 

He  for  some  years  resided  with  his  uncle  after  he  first  came 
to  Illinois  and  indulged  in  much  of  the  gayety  and  amusements 
of  the  country  at  that  day ;  but  when  age  and  experience 
reached  him,  he  changed  his  course  and  purchased  a  fine  farm 
on  the  bank  of  a  beautiful  lake  in  the  American  Bottom  and 
improved  it  in  good  style.  He  resided  here  for  many  years,  a 
single  farmer.  About  1800,  the  whole  society  changed  its  char- 
acter to  some  extent  to  a  more  civilized  and  moral  state;  and 
the  agricultural  and  other  interests  of  the  country  changed  in 
the  same  proportion.  Bond  was,  by  his  example  and  precept, 
greatly  instrumental  in  bringing  about  this  desirable  change. 
He  labored  with  his  own  hands  on  his  farm,  with  such  assistance 
as  he  could  procure  at  that  early  day.  He  felt  an  honest  pride 
in  being  dependent  on  no  one  for  his  support  except  on  his 
mother-earth  and  God,  that  giveth  the  increase.  He  spent  the 
happiest  part  of  his  life  on  his  farm.  He  possessed  a  jovial 
and  convivial  spirit,  and  with  his  friends  he  enjoyed  much  hap- 
piness. These  convivial  parties  were  not  based  on  gluttonness 
or  intemperance ;  but  they  were  sustained  by  the  noble  and 
generous  hearts  of  the  higher  order  of  warm  and  congenial 
spirits.  Bond  possessed  warm  and  ardent  feelings  and  when 
excited  in  the  society  of  his  friends  around  the  festive  board, 
he  not  only  was  happy  himself,  but  made  all  around  him  happy 
also.  In  these  parties,  he  was  the  fountain  of  hilarity  and  good 
feelings  and  imparted  it  to  all  others  around  him.  He  possessed 
a  heart  filled  with  true  benevolence  and  good  kind  feelings  to 
all  the  human  race,  and  on  these  occasions  the  feelings  that 
adorn  the  human  character  flowed  deep  and  strong. 


He  generally  kept  a  large  pack  of  hounds  and  with  his  , 
friends,  the  fox-hunt  was  with  him  capital  sport.  The  hounds, 
horn,  and  the  voice  of  Gov.  Bond  made  sweet  music  in  the 
mornings  on  the  commons  near  the  village  of  Kaskaskia  in 
olden  times.  He  took  great  delight  in  this  rural  sport  and  in 
fact  all  his  impulses  and  his  disposition  were  inclined  to  the 
cheerful  and  bright  side  of  human  nature ;  so  he  generally 
enjoyed  himself  and  made  all  around  him  happy,  likewise. 
When  he  reached  man's  estate,  in  the  American  Bottom,  on  his 
farm,  his  person  was  large  and  portly.  He  weighed  two  hun- 
dred pounds  and  was  six  feet  high.  His  person  was  erect,  com- 
pact, and  formed  with  perfect  symmetry.  His  bearing  was 
noble,  dignified,  and  commanding  and  his  features  were  regular, 
but  marked,  strong,  and  masculine.  His  complexion  was  dark 
and  his  hair  a  glossy  jet-black.  His  eyes  were  large,  brilliant, 
and  of  a  hazel  color.  His  forehead  was  large  and  capacious 
and  his  countenance  denoted  him  to  possess  superior  intellect, 
with  many  other  marked  traits  of  character  that  adorn  human 
nature.  Such  was  the  person  of  farmer  Bond. 

With  such  character  as  Bond  possessed  and  with  his  fine 
person,  he  was  a  great  favorite  with  the  ladies;  yet  his  gallan- 
tries, altho  many,  were  always  circumscribed  with  propriety. 
He  possessed  the  capital  in  this  branch  of  business,  but  never 
traded  in  it  to  any  great  extent.  In  his  early  life,  he  was 
elected  a  member  to  the  general  assembly  of  Indiana  Territory, 
which  met  at  Vincennes.  He  made,  as  he  always  afterward 
did,  a  sound,  solid  member.  He  attended  faithfully  to  the 
business  of  the  people  and  mingled  again  with  his  constituents. 
In  1812,  he  was  elected  the  first  delegate  from  the  Territory  of 
Illinois  to  congress,  and  in  this  office  he  performed  great  and 
important  services  for  his  constituents.  By  his  exertions  in 
that  body,  the  first  act  of  congress  was  passed  in  1813,  to  grant 
the  citizens  the  right  of  preemption  to  secure  their  improve- 
ments. This  was  the  first  great  lever  that  moved  Illinois  on- 
ward toward  that  glorious  eminence  she  occupies  at  this  time. 
The  people,  before  this  act  of  congress  passed,  had,  nine-tenths 
of  them,  settled  on  the  public  lands  and  had  no  right  or  title  to 
their  plantations  whatever.  "No  one  was  certain  of  securing  his 
improvement  or  labor  and  therefore  small  improvements  were 


This  provision  was  hailed  as  the  greatest  and  the  best.  It 
gave  the  country  peace  and  quiet  for  the  citizens  in  it  and  broke 
down  the  barriers  against  immigration  to  the  territory.  Ever 
after  this  act  was  passed — which  not  only  secured  the  right  of 
preemption  to  settlers,  but  brought  the  public  lands  into  market 
— the  flood  of  immigration  was  deep,  strong,  and  constant.  This 
act  of  congress  was  the  great  key-stone  to  the  arch  of  the  pros- 
perity and  growth  of  Illinois.  This  one  act  entitles  Bond  to 
the  lasting  gratitude  of  his  country.  "  Men's  evil  manners  live 
in  brass ;  their  virtues  we  write  in  water."  How  often  do  we 
hear,  at  this  day,  the  young  politicians  casting  slurs  and  disre- 
spect on  such  respectable  statesmen  as  Gov.  Bond.  Many  of 
these  modern  politicians  are  manufactured  in  the  colleges  by 
the  wealth  of  their  fathers,  in  the  same  manner  as  a  mechanic 
makes  an  axe-handle  and  with  almost  as  little  intellect  as  the 
handle.  Yet,  because  the  pioneer  statesman  did  not  graduate 
with  a  parchment  diploma,  he  must  receive  the  ridicule  of  these 
modern  butterfly  critics  and  calico  politicians.  Nature  gave  her 
richest  diplomas  to  Cromwell,  Hannibal,  and  Washington,  with; 
out  their  being  kicked  thro  a  college  like  an  unwilling  jack  is 
whipped  to  his  labor.  The  gigantic  talents  of  Jackson  and 
Clay,  two  of  the  greatest  men  the  nation  has  produced  since 
the  Revolution,  were  never  cramped  and  degraded  by  the 
monotonous  routine  of  a  collegiate  education.  I  am  in  favor  of 
a  proper  education  and  opposed  to  the  abuse  of  one.  All  I  dis- 
like is  these  tinsel  scholars  condemning  men  "whose  shoes' 
latchet  they  are  not  worthy  to  loose." 

Bond  remained  in  congress  only  one  term  and  was  appointed 
receiver  of  public  moneys  at  Kaskaskia.  This  was  a  laborious 
and  responsible  office.  The  commissioners  to  adjust  the  ancient 
claims  to  land  in  Illinois  had  not  completed  their  work  and 
Bond,  together  with  Michael  Jones,  examined  a  great  many  of 
the  claims;  reported  them  to  congress,  and  they  were  approved. 
This  was  a  delicate  trust  to  perform,  as  the  inhabitants  and 
commissioners  in  former  days  were  unfriendly  on  the  subject; 
but  Bond,  with  his  usual  good  sense  and  honesty,  gave  general 
satisfaction.  About  this  time,  1814,  he  moved  from  his  old 
plantation  in  the  American  Bottom  to  Kaskaskia  and  made  a 
large  farm  near  that  village.  The  intercourse  of  the  people 


with  Bond  made  them  know  and  appreciate  his  merits,  and  at 
the  election  for  State  officers,  he  was  chosen  governor  of  the 
State  without  opposition.  The  honest  and  sincere  friendship  of 
the  people  for  him  made  him  the  first  governor  of  Illinois  with- 
out opposition.  The  duties  of  this  office  were  important,  oner- 
ous, and  difficult  to  perform.  The  change  of  the  laws,  policy, 
and  all,  from  a  territorial  to  a  state  government,  required  pru- 
dence, circumspection,  and  much  wisdom.  He  possessed  these 
qualifications  and  performed  his  duties  to  the  general  satisfac- 
tion of  the  people. 

Gov.  Bond  strongly  urged  on  the  people  and  the  first  legisla- 
tures of  Illinois,  during  his  term  in  office,  the  propriety  and 
utility  of  constructing  a  canal  connecting  the  waters  of  Lake 
Michigan  with  those  of  the  Mississippi.  Some  short  time  after 
his  term  of  office  as  governor  expired,  he  was  appointed  register 
of  the  land-office  at  Kaskaskia,  wherein  he  remained  in  his  old 
age,  doing  business  to  the  satisfaction  of  the  public.  On  April 
11,  1830,  he  expired  in  happiness  and  in  peace  with  man.  His 
last  breath  was  breathed  in  good  will  to  the  human  family  and 
praise  to  God.  He  left  a  very  blameless  and  unspotted  char- 
acter and  as  such,  his  friends  and  the  public  mourned  his  death. 
To  his  respectable  family,  their  loss  was  irreparable.  He  was  a 
kind  parent  and  an  affectionate  husband.  His  earthly  career 
is  ended,  but  his  worthy  character  stands  strong  in  the  hearts 
of  the  pioneers  and  others  of  Illinois.* 

Gov.  Bond  had  two  brothers,  Nicodemus  and  Joshua  Bond, 
who  also  settled  in  the  American  Bottom.  Joshua  Bond  re- 
mained in  Illinois  but  a  few  years;  went  to  St.  Louis,  in  Upper 
Louisiana,  and  thence  to  Vincennes  on  the  Wabash.  He  raised 
a  large  and  respectable  family,  who  have  for  the  most  part  set- 
tled in  Illinois.  The  descendants  of  Joshua  Bond  possess  a 

*  Gov.  Bond  had  six  children  :  Thomas  S.,  Emily,  Julia  R.,  Mary  A.,  Isabella 
F.,  and  Benjamin  N.  All  are  now  dead  except  Dr.  Benjamin  N.  Bond,  who  resides 
in  Stanberry,  Mo.  Julia  R.  Bond  married  Col.  Frank  Sivanwick  of  Randolph  Co.; 
Mary  A.  married  Joseph  B.  Holmes,  a  merchant  of  Chester,  in  the  same  county; 
Isabella  F.  married  James  P.  Craig  of  the  same  place.  The  descendants  of  Gov. 
Bond  number  many  of  the  most  respected  and  wealthy  citizens  of  Randolph  Co. 

In  April,  1881.  the  remains  of  Gov.  Bond  and  his  wife  were  removed  from  Kas- 
kaskia to  Chester  and  consigned  to  the  same  vault,  over  which  a  monument  was 
erected  by  authority  of  the  legislature  of  Illinois,  act  approved  May  28,  1881. — J.  H.G. 


good  standing  in  community.  Several  of  the  sons  sustain  a 
very  respectable  reputation  at  the  bar  as  talented  lawyers,  and 
one  of  them,  Benjamin,  is  at  this  time  a  sound  lawyer  and  the 
marshal  of  the  State  of  Illinois.  One  other,  Thomas,  was  cap- 
tain of  a  company  in  the  Mexican  war  and  acted  well  his  part 
in  that  service.  All  the  Bond  family  may  look  back  with  grati- 
tude and  honest  pride  to  their  illustrious  and  venerable  relative^ 
Shadrach  Bond,  Sr.,  who  was  the  brave  and  daring  pioneer  that 
enrolled  himself  in  the  Revolutionary  war  under  the  banner  of 
Col.  Clark,  and  he  may  say,  with  Clark  and  his  troops,  as  Caesar 
said  in  ancient  times:  "  We  came,  we  saw,  we  conquered  " — Illi- 
nois. He  was  the  illustrious  Columbus  of  his  family  that  dis- 
covered the  new  world  for  them,  and  as  such,  this  ancient 
patriarch  receives  their  gratulations  and  sincere  homage. 

The  country  gradually  increased  in  its  population.  In  1803, 
John  Primm  emigrated  from  Virginia  and  settled  first  in  the 
New  Design;  made  a  crop  there,  and  settled  at  the  foot  of  the 
Mississippi  Bluff,  southeast  of  Cahokia;  remained  here  several 
years  and  moved  to  his  plantation,  a  few  miles  southwest  of 
Belleville.  He  died  there  in  1836,  aged  almost  eighty- seven 
years.  Mr.  Primm  was  born  in  Stafford  County,  Va.;  served 
in  the  Revolutionary  war  immediately  under  Gen.  Washington, 
and  assisted  at  the  glorious  capture  of  Lord  Cornwallis  at  York- 
town  in  1781.  This  was  the  crowning  battle  for  the  freedom 
of  the  human  race  and  Primm  enjoyed  the  honor  of  aiding  in 
this  great  and  glorious  victory.  He  had  a  large  family — seven- 
teen children — four  girls  and  thirteen  sons.  He  lived  the  even, 
temperate  life  of  an  agriculturist  and  performed  all  his  duties 
to  the  Creator  and  to  man  in  a  moral  and  correct  manner. 
One  of  his  sons  was  carrying  the  United-States  mail  in  August,. 
1814,  on  horseback  from  Cahokia  to  Clinton-Hill  post-office, 
two  or  three  miles  northeast  of  Belleville,  and  in  the  Derush 
Hollow,  so  called  at  the  time,  near  the  Bottom,  he  and  his  horse 
were  killed  by  the  lightning.  His  body  was  burnt  black  by  the 

In  1799,  sailed  down  the  Ohio  River,  Matthew  Lyon  and 
family,  with  John  Messinger  and  Dr.  George  Cadwell  and  their 
respective  families.  These  last  two  named  were  the  sons-in- 
law  of  Lyon  and  all  settled  at  Eddyville  in  Kentucky.  Mat- 


thew  Lyon  had  obtained  a  considerable  celebrity  as  a  member 
in  congress  from  the  State  of  Vermont.  He  was  a  native  of 
Ireland;  had  been  in  the  Revolution,  and  was  a  warm  advocate 
of  Thomas  Jefferson  and  republicanism  against  John  Adams 
and  federalism.  He  possessed  some  talents  and  much  ardor 
and  enthusiasm.  While  he  was  in  congress,  he  had  a  difficulty 
with  a  member  of  the  federal  party  and  spit  in  his  face.  He 
was  up  before  congress  for  contempt ;  but  speeches  were  the 
only  result.  He  was  extremely  bitter  against  the  administration 
of  Adams  and  he  was  fined  and  imprisoned  under  the  alien  and 
sedition  laws.  While  he  was  in  prison  in  the  State  of  Vermont,, 
his  friends  elected  him  to  congress  and  took  him  out  of  confine- 
ment to  serve  them  in  the  congress  of  the  United  States.  He 
represented  his  district  in  congress  from  Kentucky  for  several 
terms  and  was  always,  during  a  long  arid  important  life,  an  ex- 
cessively warm  and  enthusiastic  partisan  in  politics.  He  was  at 
last  appointed  an  Indian  agent  for  the  Southern  Indians  and 
died  there  at  an  advanced  age.  Long  after  his  death,  congress 
paid  back  to  his  heirs  the  fine  he  paid,  with  interest.  It  was  con- 
sidered by  congress  that  the  fine  was  paid  under  a  void  law  and 
that  it  was  due  to  principle,  as  well  as  to  his  descendants,  to- 
refund  the  amount  paid  and  interest.  I  voted  in  congress  to- 
refund  the  fine  and  interest  to  his  -heirs. 

Matthew  Lyon  was  a  droll  composition.  His  leading  trait  of 
character  was  his  zeal  and  enthusiasm,  almost  to  madness  itself, 
in  any  cause  he  espoused.  He  never  seemed  to  act  cool  and 
deliberate,  but  always  in  a  tumult  and  bustle,  as  if  he  were  in  a 
house  on  fire  and  was  hurrying  to  get  out.  His  Irish  impulses 
were  honest  and  always  on  the  side  of  human  freedom.  This 
covers  his  excessive  zeal. 

Messinger  and  Dr.  Cad  well  left  Eddyville  in  1802,  and  landed 
from  a  boat  in  the  American  Bottom,  not  far  above  old  Fort 
Chartres.  They  remained  in  the  Bottom  for  some  time  and 
Dr.  Cadwell  moved  and  settled  on  the  Illinois  bank  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi, opposite  the  Gaborit  Island  and  above  St.  Louis.  He 
was  quite  a  respectable  citizen ;  practised  his  profession  and 
served  the  people  in  various  public  offices.  He  was  justice-of- 
the-peace  and  county-court  judge  for  many  years,  in  both  St. 
Clair  County  and  in  Madison  also,  after  its  formation.  Since 


the  establishment  of  the  State  government,  he  served  in  the 
general  assembly  from  both  Madison  and  Green  counties,  at 
different  times,  and  always  acquitted  himself  to  the  satisfaction 
of  the  public.  After  a  long  life,  spent  in  usefulness,  he  died  in 
Morgan  County,  quite  an  old  man.  He  was  moral  and  correct 
in  his  public  and  private  life  and  left  a  character  much  more  to 
be  admired  than  condemned;  was  a  respectable  physician  and 
always  sustained  an  unblemished  character. 

John  Messinger  was  born  in  West  Stockbridge,  Mass.,  in  1771, 
and  was  raised  a  farmer.  He  was  in  his  youth  educated  both 
to  work  and  the  ordinary  learning  derived  from  books  at  a 
school.  This  system  of  farmers  learning  their  children  the 
science  and  practise  of  agriculture,  as  well  as  science  from  books, 
deserves  particular  consideration,  and  this  mixture  of  education 
seems  to  me  to  be  the  best  that  a  young  American  can  receive. 

Messinger,  when  he  advanced  some  years  in  age,  in  his  agri- 
cultural pursuits,  he  commenced  the  study  of  mathematics  with 
William  Coit,  who  resided  in  the  neighborhood  of  his  father. 
In  1783,  he  left  Massachusetts  and  settled  in  Vermont  and 
learned  not  only  the  art  of  farming,  but  also  in  his  early  life 
became  acquainted  with  the  business  of  a  carpenter  or  house- 
builder  and  the  trade  also  of  a  millwright.  He  possessed  a 
strong  and  vigorous  intellect  and  his  mind,  by  either  nature  or 
education  or  by  both,  became  quite  solid  and  mathematical. 
He  possessed  also  a  great  share  of  energy  and  activity;  so  that 
it  was  not  a  difficult  task  for  him  to  acquire  these  different 
mechanical  trades  as  well  as  to  become  deeply  versed  in  mathe- 
matical science. 

In  maturer  age,  his  whole  delight  and  pleasure  was  found  in 
the  science  of  mathematics  and  the  various  practical  branches 
arising  out  of  that  science.  His  whole  life  seemed  to  be  tinct- 
ured with  mathematics  and  I  believe  for  many  years  he  was  the 
most  profound  mathematician  and  best  land-surveyor  in  Illi- 
nois. He  moved  to  the  New  Design  from  the  American  Bot- 
tom and  in  1804,  purchased  a  mill  and  premises  on  Rock-House 
Creek,  east  of  the  New  Design.  He  repaired  the  mill  and  re- 
sided there  for  some  years  and  then  moved  to  Clinton  Hill,  his 
late  residence,  a  few  miles  northeast  of  Belleville. 

John  Messinger,  by  the  force  of  his  genius  and  energies,  be- 


came  an  excellent  English  scholar  and  was  always  pleased  to 
have  an  opportunity  to  instruct  any  of  his  neighbors  or  friends 
that  would  call  on  him  for  that  object.  He  taught  the  science 
of  surveying  to  a  great  many  young  men  and  has  also  taught 
many  grown  people,  males  and  females,  the  common  rudiments 
of  education  even  after  they  were  married.  He  reached  Illinois 
in  1802,  when  there  was  scarcely  a  school  in  the  country  and  it 
was  honorable  to  both  him  and  his  students  for  one  to  give  and 
the  other  to  receive  an  education  if  it  were  after  the  parties 
were  married. 

Messinger  was  not  large  in  his  person,  but  compactly  built; 
hardy  and  very  energetic.  With  the  talents  he  possessed  and 
his  activity,  he  was  extremely  useful,  not  only  in  teaching  the 
art  of  surveying  to  others,  but  in  the  practical  operations  of  sur- 
veying himself.  He  was  the  first  person  or  among  the  first  sur- 
veyors that,  in  1806,  surveyed  the  United-States  lands  in  town- 
ships in  this  section  of  the  State.  In  town  six,  south  range 
seven,  west,  and  in  that  region  of  country,  the  public  domain 
was  surveyed  by  Messinger  in  the  above  year.  I  think  he  was 
a  subcontractor  under  William  Rector.  He  surveyed  much  of 
the  public  domain  in  St.  Clair  and  Randolph  counties. 

He  not  only  was  an  excellent  mathematician,  but  he  wrote 
and  published  a  book  entitled,  "A  Manual  or  Hand-Book,  in- 
tended for  Convenience  in  Practical  Surveying."  This  work 
was  printed  by  William  Orr  in  St.  Louis  in  1821,  and  contains 
the  whole  science  of  practical  surveying,  together  with  the  neces- 
sary tables  to  enable  the  practitioner  to  calculate  the  area  of 
land  without  any  difficulty  whatever.  This  book  shows  deep 
research  by  the  author  and  establishes  the  fact  that  he  was  a 
profound  mathematician.  He  was  professor  of  mathematics  in 
the  seminary  at  Rock  Spring,  St.  Clair  County,  for  some  time 
and  performed  the  duties  of  this  responsible  station  to  the 
entire  satisfaction  of  the  public.  In  1815,  he  was  appointed 
deputy-surveyor  under  the  surveyor-general,  Edward  Tiffin  of 
the  State  of  Ohio,  and  was  authorized  to  survey  the  Military 
Tract  in  the  forks  of  the  Mississippi  and  Illinois  rivers.  He 
surveyed  much  of  this  tract,  which  was  approved  by  the  sur- 
veyor-general. He  was  appointed,  with  a  gentleman  of  Hills- 
borough,  Illinois,  to  survey,  on  the  part  of  the  State  of  Illinois, 


the  northern  limits  of  the  State,  in  latitude  forty-two,  one-half 
degrees  north.  Hon.  Lucius  Lyon  of  Michigan  was  the  com- 
missioner on  the  part  of  the  United  States  to  assist  in  the 

Messinger  was  an  efficient  and  scientific  astronomer  and 
mathematician  in  calculating  the  latitude  and  surveying  this 
line  dividing  the  State  of  Illinois  from  Wisconsin.  He  and 
Philip  Creamer,  a  celebrated  artisan,  made  surveyors'  compasses 
that  were  as  well  calculated  and  as  well  finished  in  workman- 
ship as  any  made  in  the  United  States.  Messinger  was  never 
ambitious  of  public  office,  yet  the  public  called  on  him  and  he 
served  them  both  in  the  general  assemblies  of  the  Indiana  Ter- 
ritory and  the  State  of  Illinois.  He  was  elected,  in  1808,  from 
the  county  of  St.  Clair  to  the  legislature  of  Indiana  Territory 
and  did  much  toward  obtaining  a  division  of  the  territory,  which 
took  place  the  next  year.  He  was  elected  from  St.  Clair  Co. 
a  member  of  the  convention  that  met  at  Kaskaskia  and  formed 
the  State  constitution  in  1818.  He  made  a  cautious  and  pru- 
dent member,  always  wise  without  rashness.  In  the  first  gen- 
eral assembly  of  the  State  of  Illinois,  at  its  organization  in  1818, 
he  was  elected  speaker  of  the  house  of  representatives.  He 
was  a  member  elect  from  St.  Clair  County  and  made  an  upright 
and  impartial  speaker.  This  was  an  important  legislature  and 
much  business  was  done  during  the  session. 

He  gave  his  children  a  common,  good  education  and  learned 
almost  all  of  them  the  art  of  surveying.  He  never  acquired 
any  great  amount  of  wealth,  altho  he  had  great  opportunities 
to  acquire  property.  He  had  no  talent  for  speculation ;  was 
rigidly  and  scrupulously  honest  and  possessed  an  ambition  to 
appear  plain  and  unassuming.  He  seemed  to  be  proud  of  his 
want  of  pride.  His  morals  and  orderly  bearing  were  above 
reproach  and  such  as  even  a  clergyman  might  be  proud  of. 
His  mind  was  strong  and  mathematical  and  all  its  various 
movements  seemed  to  be  in  search  of  some  abstruse  problem  in 
that  science  that  delighted  him  so  much.  He  died  on  his  plan- 
tation in  1846,  aged  seventy-five  years.  At  his  death,  he  had 
no  enemies,  but  truly  all  friends  that  mourned  his  decease.  He 
had  not  time  or  disposition  to  attend  to  his  farm.  He  seemed 
resigned  to  leave  this  vale  of  tears  with  the  hopes  of  being  with 
his  God  to  enjoy  a  happy  immortality. 


William  Kinney  was  a  great  and  talented  pioneer  of  olden 
times  and  enjoyed  a  high  and  conspicuous  standing  in  Illinois. 
He  was  blessed  with  a  vigorous  and  strong  intellect  and  also 
with  great  energy.  Kinney  was  born  in  Kentucky  in  1781,  and 
emigrated,  in  1793,  with  his  father  to  the  New  Design,  Illinois. 
When  he  came  to  the  country,  he  was  thirteen  years  old  and  at 
nineteen  he  married.  His  youthful  days  he  had  spent  with  the 
young  people  of  the  country  in  gay  and  amusing  society.  The 
young  folks  at  that  day  did  not  work  much  and  received  no 
book-education  whatever.  The  occupation  of  the  youths  and 
sometimes  of  the  aged  of  that  day  was  pleasure  and  amuse- 
ments of  various  descriptions.  Young  Kinney  was  never  behind 
any  one  in  these  merriments  and  recreations.  He  was  the 
leader  in  these  festivities  and  amusements  and  altho  many  of 
the  young  men  were  injured  by  them,  yet  Kinney  learned  by 
this  course  of  life  much  of  the  human  heart  and  the  various 
movements  of  human  nature.  He  inherited  from  nature  great 
parts  and  he  improved  them  in  every  situation  he  was  placed  in 
during  a  long  and  important  life.  His  mind  was  strong  and 
solid  whenever  he  took  time  to  reflect.  His  judgment  of  men 
and  things  was  good  to  a  proverb.  His  memory  was  retentive, 
as  he  never  forgot  what  he  learned  in  either  a  frolic  or  under 
the  droppings  of  the  sanctuary.  His  energy  and  activity  were 
boundless.  These  great  and  strong  traits  of  character  were  all 
developed  before  he  ever  opened  a  book  and  in  truth,  he  never 
went  to  school  regularly  as  a  scholar  more  than  three  months 
in  his  life.  Both  his  natural  disposition  and  his  early  education 
inclined  him  thro  life  to  gayety  and  amusements  of  every  char- 
acter. He  possessed  a  fund  of  pure  attic  wit  and  his  satire, 
when  called  out  on  proper  occasions,  was  severe  and  scathing, 
and  his  anecdotes  were  extremely  pertinent  on  many  illustra- 
tions and  were  boundless;  but  his  sound  judgment  restrained 
these  traits  of  character  in  their  appropriate  limits. 

After  he  was  married,  he  was  taught  by  John  Messinger  to 
read  and  write.  The  arithmetic  he  mastered  himself  in  his  own 
way.  This  is  the  foundation  of  all  .his  scholastic  education  and 
on  it  and  his  observation  and  reflection,  he  became  intelligent 
and  made  one  of  the  most  prominent,  popular,  and  influential 
characters  of  his  day.  It  would  be  almost  useless  to  remark 


that  at  his  marriage  and  always  before  and  for  some  time  after, 
he  was  entirely  destitute  of  worldly  means,  except  a  mere  sup- 
port. In  his  youth,  his  wild-oats  were  strong  and  rank,  so  that 
he  had  neither  time  or  disposition  to  accumulate  property;  but 
being  the  head  of  a  family  and  assuming  a  rank  in  society,  he 
was  forced  to  reflect  and  he  changed  his  conduct.  In  1803,  he 
located  himself  on  a  beautiful  and  commanding  eminence  a  few 
miles  northeast  of  the  present  City  of  Belleville  and  commenced 
with  his  own  hands  to  make  a  farm  on  these  premises.  His 
wife  was  a  most  excellent  lady,  of  sound  mind  and  amiable  dis- 
position. They  were  both,  at  that  time,  young,  talented,  and 
poor;  so  they  possessed  the  elements  of  success  and  they  used 
them  much  to  their  honor  and  advancement.  His  amiable  and 
excellent  wife,  with  her  first-born,  was  often  out  in  the  clearings 
and  in  the  field,  assisting  her  husband  to  gain  their  daily  bread. 
They  placed  the  child  on  a  blanket  and  the  parents  worked  in 
its  neighborhood  to  improve  their  farm.  Mr.  Kinney  in  those 
days  went  to  market  himself  in  St.  Louis  and  Cahokia  and  sold 
his  surplus  articles  raised  by  his  own  hands  on  his  farm.  He 
resided  first  in  a  small  house  south  of  his  late  residence  a  half- 
mile  or  more  and  it  \vas  there  he  and  wife  made  the  first  im- 

In  1809,  Mr.  Vonphul  persuaded  Kinney  to  take  some  few 
articles  of  merchandise  and  sell  them;  if  he  could  not  sell  them, 
he  might  return  them  to  Vonphul  again.  After  some  hesita- 
tion, he  took  the  goods.  They  consisted  of  a  few  bolts  of 
domestic  manufactured  cotton  cloth  and  Kinney  packed  them 
before  him  on  his  horse  from  St.  Louis  to  his  farm.  At  that 
time,  he  could  barely  write  and  knew  nothing  of  book-keeping; 
but  his  natural  strong  talents  enabled  him  to  invent  a  system  of 
book-keeping  for  himself,  without  any  previous  knowledge  of 
the  science.  This  is  the  very  humble  and  the  very  honorable 
commencement  of  the  pecuniary  career  of  Gov.  Kinney.  He 
began  at  this  low  foundation  without  any  resources  but  his  great 
mind  and  energies  and  he  made  a  princely  fortune  in  the  same 
place  and  country  where  he  commenced  thus  humble.  He 
traded  in  merchandise,  lands,  horses,  and  almost  everything 
that  had  any  value  attached  to  it  and  always  made  on  the  busi- 
ness he  embarked  in.  He  erected  a  comfortable  house  on  the 


eminence  where  it  now  stands  and  in  it,  he  displayed  a  kindness 
and  hospitality  rarely  equaled  in  any  country  or  in  any  age. 
His  house  was  almost  always  crowded  with  his  friends  and  they 
were  always  entertained  with  an  unsparing  hospitality. 

In  matured  life,  he  entered  the  political  arena  and  was  a 
warm  and  efficient  politician.  He  was  a  Democrat,  "  dyed  in 
the  wool,"  and  maintained  the  doctrines  of  the  party  without 

fear  or  affectation  on  all  occasions.     He  was  often  elected  from 


St.  Clair  County  to  the  general  assembly  of  the  State  of  Illinois 
and  made  an  efficient  business  member.  In  the  first  general 
assembly  after  the  organization  of  the  State  government,  he 
was  a  member  and  assisted  to  put  the  political  machinery  in 
operation.  In  1826,  he  was  elected  lieutenant-governor  of  the 
State  and  presided  in  that  office  in  a  manner  to  give  character 
and  standing  to  the  State.  Altho  he  served  the  people  in  these 
public  offices,  he  attended  strictly  in  his  early  life  to  his  private 
business  and  accumulated  wealth  all  the  time.  In  the  decline 
of  life,  he  was  appointed  commissioner  of  internal  improve- 
ments, which  gave  him  much  trouble  and  was  a  great  injury  to 
his  fortune.  He  died  in  1843,  aged  sixty-two  years,  on  his  farm 
where  he  lived  forty  years.  His  death  was  regretted  by  his 
friends  and  family.  In  his  early  life,  he  became  interested  in 
religion  and  was  baptized  in  1809.  He  not  only  became  a 
worthy  and  devout  member  of  the  Baptist  church,  but  was 
authorized  by  the  church  to  preach  the  gospel  and  became  a 
distinguished  and  influential  preacher.  His  sound  judgment 
displayed  itself  in  this  profession  as  well  as  in  all  his  other 
transactions  in  life. 

The  travel  on  the  road  from  the  Ohio  to  Kaskaskia  increased 
and  it  became  necessary  and  also  profitable  to  make  tavern 
stands  on  the  road.  Comfort  Joy,  an  Eastern  man,  in  i8o4( 
made  the  first  establishment  on  Big- Muddy  River  where  the 
old  Massac  Trace  crossed  it.  He  resided  some  years  here 
He  was  on  his  way  to  the  Ohio  Salt-Works  with  his  cart  and 
and  oxen  and  by  some  means,  the  oxen  kicked  him,  causing  his 
death.  The  family  broke  up  and  left  the  stand. 

In  1803,  Hays  and  some  others  formed  the  first  settlements 
on  Big-Bay  Creek,  some  miles  northwest  of  the  present  town 
of  Golconda,  Pope  County.  This  settlement  continued  to  in- 


crease.  William  Jones  and  John  Finley  stopped  in  it  in  1804, 
and  remained  there  two  years  before  they  moved  to  Madison 
County.  In  early  times,  in  this  settlement  a  murder  was  com- 
mitted. The  accused  was  brought  to  Kaskaskia  for  trial;  as 
all  that  section  of  country  was  embraced  in  the  county  of  Ran- 
dolph at  that  day  and  Kaskaskia  the  county-seat.  The  man 
accused  of  the  murder  escaped.  In  1805,  Phelps,  Daniels,  and 
some  others  made  a  settlement  on  the  Massac  road,  ten  miles 
east  of  Big  Muddy.  Two  settlements  were  made  on  Silver 
Creek  in  1804,  which  were  the  first  on  the  creek.  One  was 
made  a  few  miles  from  the  mouth,  in  this  year,  by  Abraham 
Teter,  Peter  Mitchel,  and  a  widow  Shook — the  sister  of  Teter. 
They  were  the  first  families  that  located  in  the  neighborhood  of 
the  present  Solomon  Teter,  who  is  the  son  of  Abraham  Teter. 
The  other  was  made  by  the  Bradsby  family,*  about  three  miles 
north  of  the  present  town  of  Lebanon,  at  the  edge  of  the  Look- 
ing-Glass  Prairie. 

William  H.  Bradsby,  the  oldest  son,  with  two  other  yc  ang 
men,  came  out  in  the  spring  of  1804  from  Kentucky;  made  an 
improvement  and  raised  corn  on  the  place  above  mentioned. 
The  family  moved  in  the  fall.  The  settlement  of  the  Bradsbys 

*  John  Bradsby  and  William,  his  brother,  soldiers  of  the  Revolution,  came  to 
this  country  from  Ireland  about  the  middle  of  the  l8th  century;  William  was  never 
heard  of  after  entering  the  army,  and  it  is  supposed  died  in  the  service;  John  mar- 
ried Mary  Higgins,  a  native  of  Virginia,  in  Bedford  Co.,  Va.,  in  1785,  and  shortly 
after  the  birth  of  their  eldest  child,  1787,  moved  to  Barren  Co.,  Ky. ,  where  he  taught 
school  and  preached  for  several  years;  and  their  children  were: 

Dr.  Wm.  H.  Bradsby  was  born  in  Bedford  Co.,  Va.,  July  12,  1787;  married,  Nov. 
6,  1818,  Catharine  M.  Higgins  (born  in  Barren  Co.,  Ky.,  1801);  of  their  ten  chil- 
dren: 3,  Eloise,  wid.  of  Wm.  Adams,  living  near  Lebanon;  8,  Henry  Clay  of  Effing- 
ham,  111.,  born  Feb.  29,  1832,  Covington,  Washington  Co.,  111.;  was  educated  at 
McKendree  College,  111.,  and  Jefferson  College,  Pa.;  lawyer;  was  married  July  28. 
1858,  to  Melinda,  youngest  child  of  Hon.  Elijah  C  Berry,  first  State  auditor,  and 
have  two  children — the  eldest  married  F.  W.  Burnett,  attorney,  Springfield,  111. ; 
9,  Indiana,  wid.  of  J.  H.  Williams,  residing  in  Lebanon,  111. ;  10,  Catharine,  wife 
of  Addison  Pyle,  residing  near  Lebanon,  111. ;  the  others  died  young  \vithout  issue. 
The  Dr.  was  the  first  postmaster  in  Washington  Co.  (at  Covington);  the  first  school, 
teacher;  also  the  first  circuit  and  county  clerk  and  recorder;  was  probate  and  county 
judge  when  he  died;  and  during  many  years  was  deputy  U.  S.  surveyor,  and  surveyed 
much  of  this  portion  of  the  State,  his  labor  extending  as  far  east  as  Wayne  and  Clay 
counties;  besides  being  clerk  of  all  the  courts  he  was  virtually  county  treasurer,  hav- 
ing the  custody  of  the  county  money.  All  of  the  early  records  show  his  neat  and 
elegant  hand.  He  died  in  Nashville,  111.,  August  21,  1839. 


was  in  advance  of  the  other  inhabitants  seven  or  eight  miles. 
The  Bradsby  family  were  brave  and  energetic  pioneers.  They 
possessed  good  talents  and  were  fearless  and  intrepid.  They 
were  firm  and  decisive  when  they  took  a  stand  and  were  also 
moral  and  correct  and  made  excellent  citizens.  The  old  sire 
taught  school  in  various  neighborhoods.  He  had  a  school,  in 
1806,  in  the  American  Bottom,  almost  west  of  the  present  Col- 
linsville,  and  the  year  after,  he  taught  another  in  the  Turkey- 
Hill  Settlement.  The  other  small  colony  on  Silver  Creek  was 
also  some  distance  from  any  other  inhabitants.  They  likewise 
were  good  citizens. 

Peter  Mitchell,  in  matured  age,  acted  as  a  justice-of-the-peace 
and  county  commissioner.  He  was  a  moral,  correct  man  and 
was  one  of  the  ancient  emigrants  from  Hardy  County,  Virginia, 
who  settled  at  the  New  Design  in  1797.  It  would  seem  that 
there  was  a  kind  of  fatality  in  colonizing  a  new  country.  Single 
families  will  frequently  locate  in  advance  of  the  other  inhabi- 
tants, many  miles  in  a  wilderness,  without  obtaining  any  greater 
.advantages  than  those  enjoy  in  a  more  dense  settlement. 

The  two  oldest  sons  of  Mr.  Bradsby — William  and  James — 
were  in  the  ranging  service  and  made  good  soldiers.  William 
H.  Bradsby,  after  he  was  here  a  few  years,  returned  to  the  old 

James,  the  second  son,  who  served  as  a  ranger  in  Whiteside's  company,  died  at  a 
ripe  old  age  at  the  old  home,  near  Lebanon,  in  1868;  left  two  sons,  Addison  and 
William,  and  three  daughters,  Mary,  Priscilla,  and  Pauline;  all  dead  except  Addi- 
•son,  who  lives  on  the  old  homestead. 

The  third  son,  Richard,  was  7  years  of  age  when  his  father  moved  to  Illinois;  was 
married  in  1831  to  Lucinda  Adams,  and  settled  in  Looking-Glass  Prairie;  was  in  the 
Black- Hawk  War,  first  enlisting  in  Capt.  Wm.  Moore's  company  of  Buckmaster's  Odd 
Battalion  in  1831,  joining  a  spy  company  on  the  igth  of  June;  no  record  of  his  later 
service  has  been  preserved;  in  1848,  he  was  elected  one  of  the  county  board  of  St. 
Clair  Co.,  a  position  he  held  for  many  terms;  and  died  Sept.  5,  1875;  leaving  one 
child,  Virginia,  the  wife  of  Dr.  James  L.  Perryman  of  Belleville. 

Mary  married  Richard  Higgins;  both  died  several  years  ago,  leaving  three  daugh. 
ters  who,  with  their  descendants,  live  near  Lebanon. 

Priscilla  married  Thomas  Chilton,  and  removed  to  Sangamon  Co.  in  1819,  and 
from  thence  to  Wisconsin,  where  both  died,  leaving  several  children. 

Jane  married  Jesse  Bayles,  and  was  massacred  with  Lucinda  Higgins,  a  sister  of 
Mrs.  W.  H.  Bradsby,  by  the  Indians  on  Sugar  Creek,  in  the  fall  of  1814. 

John  married  Naomi  Paris;  died  in  1845,  on  his  farm  near  Lebanon,  leaving  two 
sons,  Francis  and  William,  and  a  daughter.  Francis  died  in  1880,  and  William 
now  resides  in  Greenville,  in  Bond  County. — J.  H.  G. 


settlements;  qualified  himself  and  studied  medicine.  He  was  a 
good  physician  and  practised  some  time,  but  disliked  the  pro- 
fession and  became  rather  a  public  character.  He  was  elected 
to  the  State  legislature  from  St.  Clair  County  in  1814,  and  made 
a  good  member.  He  was  appointed  to  most  all  or  quite  all 
the  small  offices  in  Washington  County  when  that  county  was 
organized.  He  made  his  residence  at  Covington  for  many  years 
and  when  the  county-seat  was  moved  to  Nashville,  he  still  held 
the  offices  and  died  about  that  time. 

Dr.  Bradsby  sustained  well  the  reputation  of  a  pioneer.     He 
possessed   a  strong   mind  with  a  courage  that  quailed   at  no 
danger  or  disaster.     We  were  United-States  rangers*  together 
in  the  same  company,  commanded  by  Capt.  William  B.  White- 
side  in  the  war  of  1812,  with  Great  Britain.     We  were  both  ser- 
geants and  ranged  together  around  the  frontiers  of  the  infant 
settlements  of  Illinois  to  defend  them  from  Indian  depredations. 
By  this  occurrence,  I  became  intimately  acquainted  with  the 
merit  and  worth  of  Dr.  Bradsby  and  no  man  ever  possessed  a 
purer,  better  heart  than  he  did.     His  attachments  and  friend- 
ships were  ardent  and  firm.     He  was  generous  and  benevolent 
and  always  ready  to  relieve  distress.     His  love  of  country  and 
its  free  institutions  was  ardent  and  strong.     When  he  was  quite 
a  lad,  in  1804,  when  the  stars  and  stripes  were  first  raised  in 
St.  Louis,  after  the  cession  of  Louisiana  to  the  United  States, 
on  July  4  of  that  year,  he  quit  his  plow  on  Silver  Creek  and 
joined 'heart  and  soul  in  the  celebration.     He  rejoiced  to  see 
the  free  institutions  of  the  United   States  extended  over  the 
country  where  Spanish  tyranny  had  heretofore  been  sustained 
by  that  despotic  government. 

David  Philips,  the  head  of  a  numerous  and  respectable  family, 
emigrated  from  North  Carolina;  stopped  in  Tennessee  and 
finally  settled  in  Illinois.  He  located  himself  and  family  on 
Richland  Creek,  a  few  miles  south  of  the  present  City  of  Belle- 

*  Congress,  in  iSii,  passed  an  act  authorizing  the  organization  of  ten  companies 
of  rangers  which  afterward  formed  a  regiment,  known  as  the  iyth  U.  S.  Infantry, 
placed  under  the  command  of  Col.  Wm.  Russell  of  Kentucky,  a  renowned  Indian- 
fighter  Of  these  companies  four  were  raised  in  Illinois  Territory,  those  commanded 
respectively  by  Captains  Samuel  WhitesiJe,  Wm.  B.  Whiteside,  James  B.  Moore, 
and  Jacob  Short. — J.  H.  G. 


ville,  in  1803.  Mr.  Philips  was  born  in  Orange  County,  North 
Carolina,  in  175$,  and  was  a  soldier  in  the  glorious  war  of  the 
Revolution.  He  spent  much  of  his  youthful  vigor  in  the  tented 
field  and  reposed  in  proud  defiance  of  British  tyranny  under 
the  stars  and  stripes.  He  trusted  his  all  to  God  and  liberty 
and  he  was  victorious.  He  heard  of  Illinois  and  when  he  saw 
it  in  1803,  he  realized  all  his  fond  hopes  of  the  promised  land- 
He  emigrated  to  settle  his  large  family  in  a  new  country.  .There 
are  seven  of  his  sons  alive  at  this  time  and  the  youngest  is  up- 
ward upward  of  fifty  years  old.  He  has  also  one  daughter 
alive.  His  descendants  are  numerous  and  respectable.  He 
and  all  his  sons  were  raised  farmers  and  they  generally  support 
themselves  by  that  ancient  and  honorable  profession  to  this  day. 
The  aged  father  died  at  his  residence,  south  of  Belleville,  in 
1826,  full  of  years  and  respected  by  his  family  and  neighbors. 
He  led  his  large  family  thro  the  wilderness;  settled  them  in  a 
fine  country  and  died  happy. 

After  the  conquest  of  Illinois,  the  State  of  Virginia  instructed 
Gen.  Clark  to  establish  a  fort  at  the  Iron  Banks  on  the  Ohio 
River.  He  executed  this  command  as  he  did  all  others,  with 
great  wisdom  and  celerity.  He  promised  lands  to  all  who  would 
emigrate  to  the  Iron  Banks  and  settle  there  with  or  without 
their  families.  This  was  a  kind  of  armed  occupation  of  the 
country.  These  promises  of  Clark  and  his  extraordinary  influ- 
ence caused  many  families  as  well  as  many  single  men  to  locate 
at  Fort  Jefferson,  which  was  the  name  of  the  fort  at  the  Iron 
Banks.  Toward  the  close  of  the  Revolution,  Virginia  was  not 
very  able  to  sustain  this  garrison  and  the  troops  and  families, 
were  compelled  to  leave  it  for  the  want  of  support.  The  offi- 
cers of  the  fort  first  quartered  the  soldiers  on  the  citizens  of  the 
French  villages  and  at  other  places  for  support;  but  not  calling 
for  them,  they  were  compelled  to  shift  for  themselves.  Thus  it 
was  that  many  of  Clark's  men,  as  they  were  termed,  as  well  as 
families,  after  1780,  were  residents  of  the  metropolis  of  the 
country,  Old  Kaskaskia. 

Pickett,  Seybold,  Groots,  Hiltebrand,  Dodge,  Camp,  Teel, 
Curry,  Lunceford,  Anderson,  Pagon,  Doyle,  Hughes,  Mont- 
gomery, and  others  were  soldiers  who  had  been  in  the  service 
of  Virginia  under  Clark,  either  at  Fort  Jefferson  or  in  the  con- 


quest  of  Illinois.  It  was  part  of  these  men  who  established  the 
small  colony  on  the  east  side  of  the  Kaskaskia  River,  not  far 
from  the  old  town  of  Kaskaskia,  after  1780. 

It  was  in  this  settlement,  in  the  early  part  of  the  spring  of 
1788,  that  a  most  singular  battle  and  siege  occurred.  David 
Pagon,  one  of  Clark's  men,  had  made  a  house  two  miles  from 
Kaskaskia,  on  the  east  side  of  the  river,  and  had  finished  it  in 
a  strong  and  substantial  manner,  so  as  to  withstand  an  Indian 
attack.  Levi  Teel  and  James  Curry,  also  two  of  Clark's  sol- 
diers, had  been  out  hunting  on  the  east  side  of  the  river  and 
had  encamped  in  this  house  for  the  night.  The  door  of  the 
house  had  three  bars  across  it,  to  secure  it  against  Indian 
assault,  and  in  the  door  was  a  hole  cut  for  the  cat  to  go  in  and 
out.  Toward  day,  Curry  informed  Teel  that  there  were  Indians 
about  the  house  and  that  they  must  fix  up  their  guns  for  defence. 
Teel  was  rather  inclined  to  open  the  door  and  give  up  as  pris- 
oners, while  Curry  would  not  listen  to  it  at  all.  Teel  went  to 
the  door  to  either  open  it  or  to  make  discoveries  and  stood  with 
his  foot  near  the  cat  hole.  The  Indians  outside  stuck  a  spear 
thro  his  foot  and  fastened  him  to  the  floor.  The  Indians,  in 
their  war  expeditions,  always  carry  spears  with  them.  By  a 
kind  of  instinct,  Teel  put  his  hand  to  the  spear  to  draw  it  out 
of  his  foot  and  other  spears  were  stuck  in  his  hand.  They  cut 
and  mangled  his  hand  in  a  shocking  manner;  so  that  he  was 
not  only  nailed  to  the  floor  of  the  house,  but  his  hands  were 
rendered  useless. 

It  was  ascertained  afterward  that  it  was  the  Piankeshaw 
Indians  and  there  were  sixteen  in  the  band.  Curry  was  an 
extraordinary  man ;  brave  to  desperation  and  inured  to  broil 
and  feats  of  battle  until  he  was  always  cool  and  prepared.  He 
jumped  up  in  the  loft  of  the  house  to  drive  the  enemy  off  be- 
fore Teel  would  open  the  door  and  by  a  small  crevice  in  the 
roof,  he  put  his  gun  out  and  shot  into  the  crowd  of  Indians. 
He  shot  three  times  with  great  rapidity,  for  fear  Teel  would 
open  the  door.  It  was  discovered  afterward  from  the  Indians 
that  Curry  had  killed  three  warriors.  He  then  got  down  to  see 
what  Teel  was  about  and  found  him  transfixed  to  the  floor,  as 
above  stated.  He  then  got  up  again  in  the  loft  and  tumbled 
the  whole  roof,  weight-poles  and  all,  down  on  the  Indians  standing 


at  the  door  with  spears  in  their  hands.  It  will  be  recollected 
that  in  olden  times  the  roofs  of  cabins  were  made  with  weight- 
poles  on  the  boards,  to  keep  them  down.  The  pioneers  used 
no  nails  as  they  do  at  this  day.  The  roof  falling  on  the  enemy 
killed  the  chief  and  the  others  ran  off.  Day  was  breaking, 
which  assisted  also  to  disperse  the  Indians.  Curry  took  both 
guns  and  made  Teel  walk  altho  he  was  almost  exhausted  on 
account  of  the  loss  of  blood.  They  had  a  hill  to  walk  up  at 
the  start,  which  fatigued  Teel  and  he  gave  out  before  they 
reached  Kaskaskia  altho  they  had  only  two  miles  to  travel. 
Curry  left  Teel  and  went  to  Kaskaskia  for  help  and  at  last 
saved  himself  and  comrade  from  death. 

To  my  own  knowledge,  the  houses  in  times  of  Indian  wars 
were  fixed  so  the  roofs  could  be  thrown  down  on  the  enemy 
and  sometimes  large  round  timbers  were  laid  on  the  tops  of  the 
houses  on  purpose  to  roll  off  on  the  Indians  below. 

James  Curry  came  with  Clark  in  1778,  and  was  an  active  and 
daring  soldier  in  the  capture  of  Forts  Gage  and  Sackville.  He 
was  large,  strong,  and  active  and  was  always  foremost  on  the 
list  of  those  who  contended  for  the  prizes  in  foot-races,  leaping, 
wrestling,  etc.  He  was  a  similar  character  to  the  celebrated 
Thomas  Higgins  of  modern  pioneer  memory.  In  all  desperate 
and  hazardous  services,  Clark  chose  him  first  to  act  in  these 
perils  and  dangers. 

The  citizens  of  Illinois  of  olden  times  were  compelled  to  hunt 
for  a  support.  Curry  and  Joseph  Anderson,  who  afterward 
lived  and  died  on  Nine-Mile  Creek,  Randolph  County,  were  out 
hunting  and  the  Indians  killed  Curry,  as  it  was  supposed;  as  he 
went  out  to  hunt  from  their  camp  and  never  returned.  Thus 
was  the  closing  scene  of  one  of  the  brave  and  patriotic  heroes, 
the  noble -hearted  James  Curry,  whose  services  were  so  con- 
spicuous in  the  conquest  of  Illinois.  Not  only  a  burial  was 
denied  to  this  gallant  soldier,  but  his  remains  are  mingled  with 
the  mother-earth  ;  so  that  even  the  place  of  his  death  is  not 
known.  His  blood  was  spilt  in  Illinois  and  it  may  produce, 
when  the  occasion  demands  it,  a  race  of  heroes  whose  services 
for  their  country  may  equal  those  of  the  lamented  Curry. 

Another  of  the  gallant  soldiers  of  Gen.  Clark,  William  Biggs, 
lived  a  long  and  eventful  life  in  Illinois.  He  was  born  in  Mary- 


land  in  1755,  and  at  the  age  of  twenty-three  years,  he  enrolled 
himself  in  the  Revolutionary  war  under  Gen.  Clark.  He  acted 
as  a  subaltern  officer  in  the  conquest  of  Illinois  in  1778  and 
1779.  He  was  hardy,  energetic,  and  brave  and  used  these 
qualities  for  the  redemption  of  not  only  the  United  Colonies 
from  bondage,  but  of  the  whole  human  race.  He  withstood 
the  perils  and  "hair-breadth  'scapes"  incident  to  the  campaign 
under  Clark  with  the  heroism  of  a  veteran  warrior.  He  re- 
ceived no  bounty  in  land  in  the  grant  made  to  Clark  and  his 
soldiers ;  but  the  congress  of  the  United  States,  recognizing 
X  the  honorable  services  rendered  to  the  colonies  in  the  Revolu- 
tion by  Lieut.  Biggs,  granted  him,  in  1826,  three  sections  of 
land.  The  congress  of  the  United  States  gave  Judge  Biggs 
this  public  and  honorable  testimony  of  his  important  services 
bestowed  on  his  country  for  its  liberation  from  British  despotism. 
Soon  after  the  close  of  the  Revolution,  he  returned  and  married 
in  West  Virginia.  Not  long  after  his  marriage,  he, 'with  two 
brothers,  emigrated  to  Illinois  and  settled  at  Bellefontaine. 

In  the  spring  of  1,788,  he  had  been  out  hunting  and  had  got 
some  beaver  fur,  which  he  was  desirous  to  sell  in  Cahokia.  He 
then  resided  at  the  Bellefontaine  and  started  with  his  beaver 
fur,  in  company  with  John  Vallis,  to  Cahokia.  John  Vallis  was 
from  Maryland  near  Baltimore.  Early  in  the  morning  of  March 
28  of  the  above  year,  Biggs  and  Vallis  were  riding  on  the  main 
road  from  the  fountain  to  Cahokia — the  same  road  that  is  at 
present  traveled — about  six  miles  from  Piggot's  Fort  in  the 
Bottom,  and  they  heard  the  report  of  two  guns.  Biggs  sup- 
posed them  to  be  hunters;  but  soon  after,  he  saw  sixteen  Indians 
with  their  guns  presented.  He  and  Vallis  whipped  their  horses, 
but  in  vain;  all  the  Indians  fired  their  pieces  at  him  and  com- 
rade. The  bullets  riddled  the  horse  of  Biggs;  killed  him  and 
shot  four  holes  thro  Biggs'  overcoat,  but  did  not  hit  him.  A 
ball  entered  the  thigh  of  Vallis  and  of  which  wound  he  died  six 
weeks  after.  The  horse  of  Vallis  carried  him  to  the  fort.  Biggs, 
his  furs,  saddle,  and  all  fell  oft"  his  horse  and  after  running  some 
distance  the  Indians  caught  him  and  made  him  a  prisoner. 

When  Vallis  reached  the  fort,  they  fired  a  swivel  to  alarm 
the  neighborhood.  At  the  report,  the  Indians  run  with  Biggs 
for  six  miles.  They  were  Kickapoos  and  started  direct  to  the 


Weastowns  or  Ouitenon  on  the  Wabash  River,  two  hundred 
miles  above  Vincennes.  One  of  the  Indians  that  captured 
Biggs  attempted  to  kill  him,  but  to  get  rid  of  this  Indian,  his 
comrades  killed  him.  These  savages  have  no  regard  for  life 
except  it  be  their  own.  The  first  day,  they  traveled  with  Biggs 
forty  miles.  They  had  no  horses  and  must  have  traveled  fast 
on  foot.  Sixty-four  years  ago,  Biggs,  as  a  prisoner,  must  have 
passed  not  far  south  of  Belleville  and  Lebanon  and  traveled 
almost  three  hundred  miles  to  the  Wabash,  opposite  the  Weas- 
towns, in  ten  days.  The  Indians  were  very  severe  on  him  in 
tying  him  at  night,  for  fear  of  his  escape ;  so  he  was  almost 
unable  to  walk.  After  he  reached  the  Indian  towns,  he  was 
ransomed  by  agreeing  to  pay  a  Spaniard,  Bazedone,  two  hun- 
dred and  sixty  dollars  ransom  and  thirty-seven  more  for  other 
necessaries  on  which  to  enable  him  to  reach  home.  He 
descended  the  Wabash  and  the  Ohio  to  the  Mississippi ;  up 
that  river  to  Kaskaskia  and  on  home  to  the  Bellefontaine. 

It  was  a  miracle  that  so  many  Indians  fired  at  Biggs  and 
Vallis,  and  within  forty  yards,  did  not  kill  them  both.  Biggs 
suffered  much,  but  he  saved  his  life.  He  was  a  fine,  handsome 
man  and  his  beauty  had  its  effect  even  on  the  untutored  females 
of  nature,  as  many  of  the  Indian  belles  offered  their  hearts  to 
him  in  wedlock;  but  he  acted  the  second  Joseph  with  them  on 
the  Wabash  River  as  his  illustrious  predecessor  did  in  Egypt. 

[Mr.  Biggs  wrote  a  narrative  in  1826  of  his  captivity  and  had  it 

!  published. 

Gov.  St.  Clair  in  1790  appointed  him  the  sheriff  of  St.  Clair 
County,  which  office  he  held  and  did  the  business  of  it  for  many 
years,  as  the  ancient  records  testify.  He  had  received  a  plain, 
common  education  and  had  mixed  so  much  with  men,  danger, 
and  war  that  he  was  well  qualified  to  execute  the  duties  of  this 
office.  He  was  kind  and  obliging,  so  that  the  office  of  sheriff 
sixty  years  ago,  as  it  does  to  this  day,  enabled  the  incumbent 
to  become  popular,  if  he  be  an  honest,  agreeable  man,  with 
common  business  talents.  He  was  popular  and  the  citizens  of 
St.  Clair  elected  him  to  serve  in  the  legislature  of  the  North- 
west Territory  for  two  different  terms.  He  attended  twice  and 
rode  on  horseback  to  Vincennes;  thence  to  Louisville;  thence 
thro  Kentucky  and  the  territory  to  the  seat  of  government  of 
all  the  country  northwest  of  the  Ohio  River. 


At  a  time  when  Bond  and  Biggs  were  doing  military  service 
in  Illinois,  in  1778,  under  Gen.  Clark,  they  concluded  to  return 
to  Illinois  after  the  war  was  closed.  They  said  in  a  joke  that 
they  would  like  to  represent  this  country  in  the  legislature,  and 
behold,  they  both  did  realize  their  waking  dreams  expressed  in 
the  war.  They  were  in  the  first  general  assembly  of  the  terri- 
tory, convened  west  of  the  Ohio,  after  the  Revolution. 

Biggs  acted  as  justice-of-the-peace  and  judge  of  the  court  of 
common-pleas  of  St.  Clair  County  for  almost  time  out  of  the 
memory  of  man  and  made  an  honest,  safe  officer.  He  was 
elected  from  St.  Clair  County  to  the  general  assembly  of  the 
Indiana  Territory  in  1808,  and  acted  well  his  part  in  obtaining 
a  division  of  the  territory.  Illinois  Territory  was  established 
soon  after  and  the  legislature  of  which  Biggs  was  a  member 
gave  motion  to  the  ball.  Judge  Biggs  was  elected,  in  1812, 
from  St.  Clair  County  to  the  legislative  council  of  the  general 
assembly  of  the  Territory  of  Illinois ;  remained  in  this  office 
four  years  and  made  a  solid  and  useful  member.  He  was  act- 
ing in  the  first  organization  of  the  first  territorial  government, 
We  are  now  enjoying  the  fruit  of  his  and  others'  labors.  Toward 
the  close  of  his  life,  he  manufactured  salt  in  Madison  County, 
on  Silver  Creek,  and  died  at  Col.  Judy's  in  1827,  an  aged  and 
respectable  pioneer  of  Illinois.  Few  men  have  had  the  good 
fortune  to  live  in  the  age  and  had  so  many  opportunities  to 
perform  services  for  the  human  family  as  Judge  Biggs  had;  but 
in  all  these  public  transactions,  he  did  not  attend  to  his  private 
interests.  He  never  was  wealthy — only  possessed  a  reasonable 
competency.  His  remains  now  repose  in  peace  in  a  country 
wherein  he  acted  in  such  important  scenes. 

After  the  Indian  war  had  closed  in  1795,  the  citizens  of  Illi- 
nois turned  their  attention  to  the  improvement  of  their  stock. 
The  breed  of  horses  were  advanced  and  many  good  ones  raised 
in  the  country.  Illinois  at  that  day,  as  it  has  been  ever  since,, 
was  a  good  climate  for  horses.  Col.  William  Whiteside,  in  1796, 
introduced  into  the  country  a  fine  blooded-horse  of  the  Janus 
stock.  It  is  supposed  by  the  best  judges  of  horses  that  a  better 
horse  has  never  since  stood  in  Illinois.  Many  of  his  colts  made 
turf  nags  that  won  races  not  only  in  Illinois,  but  in  many  parts 
of  the  Union.  The  owners  of  two  of  these  horses,  both  sired 


by  Whiteside's  horse,  made  a  large  bet  on  a  race  between  them; 
of  three  miles  and  repeat.  The  race  took  place  in  the  Horse 
Prairie  in  the  spring  of  1803.  The  people  of  Illinois  at  that 
day  were  all  comprised  within  St.  Clair  and  Randolph  counties 
and  were  not  numerous.  The  whole  country,  with  a  few  excep- 
tions, were  great  amateurs  of  the  sport  and  the  race,  and  the 
horses  were  as  much  discussed,  to  the  number  of  people,  as  the 
late  Mexican  war  was.  I  would  not  be  surprised  if  one-third 
of  all  the  males  of  Illinois  attended  the  race  and  part  of  the 
females.  The  celebrated  race  -  horse,  Sleepy  Davie,  whose 
famous  character  all  the  ancient  pioneers  recollect,  won  the 
race,  beating  a  fine  gray  horse  much  larger  than  himself. 

These  races  were  in  their  character  something  similar  to  the 
Olympic  games  in  Greece  and  the  railroad  conventions  and 
mass-meetings  of  modern  times.  It  is  essential  for  the  people 
to  assemble  together  to  form  friendly  acquaintances  and  wear 
off  unfounded  prejudices.  This  is  a  great  and  important  ele- 
ment in  the  congress  of  the  United  States.  It  gets  the  extremes 
of  the  nation  together,  and  by  a  friendly  intercourse  among  the 
members,  the  Union  is  made  more  permanent.  By  the  Olympic 
games,  the  Grecian  States  were  preserved  and  the  people  im- 
proved. Our  Illinois  races  were  nothing  more  in  a  small  way 
than  part  of  the  Olympic  games.  The  people  came  together 
from  all  parts  of  the  inhabited  Illinois  and  had  a  friendly  inter- 
change of  sentiment;  became  acquainted  with  each  other,  and 
returned  home  as  friendly  as  brothers.  At  that  day,  1803,  less 
than  sixty  miles  north  and  south  and  fifteen  or  twenty  from  the 
Mississippi,  east  and  west,  embraced  the  whole  settlements, 
French  and  Americans,  in  Illinois. 

At  these  races  almost  every  description  of  business  was  trans- 
acted. Horses  were  swopped  and  contracts  made.  Debts  paid 
and  new  ones  contracted.  Amusements  of  various  species  were 
indulged  in.  Foot-racing,  wrestling,  and  jumping  were  not  neg- 
lected. Sometimes  shooting- matches  were  executed;  so  that 
in  old  pioneer  times  these  horse-races  were  names  for  meetings 
where  much  other  business  or  pleasure  was  transacted  and  expe- 
rienced. Small  kegs  of  whisky  were  often  brought  to  the  races ;. 
a  keg  in  one  end  of  a  bag  and  a  stone  in  the  other.  Sometimes 
a  keg  in  each  end  was  the  manner  of  getting  the  liquor  to  the 


races.  Old  females  at  times  had  cakes  and  metheglin  for  sale. 
This  race  in  the  Horse  Prairie  was  the  most  celebrated  match- 
race  that  occurred  in  Illinois  in  early  times  and  drew  to  it  the 
greatest  concourse  of  people.  I  think,  in  a  moral  point  of  view, 
the  community  was  improved  by  it;  not  on  account  of  the  race, 
but  by  the  friendly  intercourse  among  so  vast  an  assemblage  of 
people  at  that  day. 

I  presume,  in  1803,  there  were  scarcely  three  thousand  souls, 
French  and  Americans,  in  all  Illinois.  No  census  at  that  day 
was  taken  and  it  is  difficult  to  be  certain  in  the  number;  but 
judging  from  the  best  data  in  my  power  and  my  personal  obser- 
vation, I  think  the  above  is  correct.  This  estimate  is  allowing 
an  increase  of  one  thousand  jouls  in  fifteen  years — since  1788 
to  1803.  The  French  during  this  period  were  diminishing  and 
the  Americans  made  up  the  increase  to  scarcely  three  thousand 

About  this  time,  1800,  and  onward,  the  inhabitants  changed 
to  some  extent  their  mode  of  business  and  living.  They  as- 
sumed more  the  agricultural  pursuits  and  abandoned  hunting. 
A  commerce  had  commenced  to  New  Orleans  in  flour,  tobacco, 
and  live-stock,  which  induced  the  people  to  change  their  em- 
ployments. The  game  was  more  exhausted;  so  that  hunting 
was  not  so  profitable  as  heretofore.  This  change  gradually 
took  place  after  1800  to  the  war  of  1812,  which  checked  its  pro- 
gress to  some  extent.  The  immigrants  were  mostly  from  the 
Southern  and  Western  States  and  had  been  in  the  habit  of  cul- 
tivating cotton  and  they  continued  its  cultivation  in  Illinois. 
It  was  supposed  fifty  years  since  that  Illinois  was  a  good 
medium  cotton  country.  Tobacco  was  also  cultivated.  Flax 
was  raised  and  manufactured  into  clothing.  Wheat  was  more 
cultivated  than  in  former  days.  The  range  was  good ;  so  that 
cattle,  hogs,  and  horses  were  raised  in  abundance.  The  only 
misfortune  of  which  farmers  complained  was  the  want  of  a 
market  for  their  surplus  produce. 

This  change  in  the  industry  of  the  people  justified  the  erec- 
tion of  more  mills.  Tate  and  Singleton,  in  1802,  built  a  good 
water-mill  for  that  day  on  the  Fountaine  Creek,  a  few  miles 
northwest  of  the  present  town  of  Waterloo.  The  mill -house 
\vas  made  of  stone  and  the  capacity  of  the  mill  was  made  in 


proportion  to  the  demand  of  the  country  at  the  time.  Edgar's 
mill  continued  to  do  the  most  of  the  merchant  business  of  the 
country  then  and  for  a  long  time  after. 

Madame  Beaulieu,  a  pioneer  lady,  was  born  in  the  village  of 
St.  Phillippe  in  1742,  and  was  educated  in  Quebec,  Canada. 
Her  father,  a  subaltern  officer,  came  with  the  French  troops  to 
Fort  Chartres  and  located  in  the  above  village,  sometimes  called 
the  Little  Village.  His  name  was  Chouvin.  He  settled  after- 
ward in  Cahokia,  where  his  daughter  married  M.  Beaulieu. 
This  lady  was  educated  and  intelligent.  She  was  the  director- 
general  in  moral  and  medical  matters.  She  possessed  a  strong, 
active  mind  and  was  a  pattern  of  morality  and  virtue.  She  was 
the  doctress  in  most  cases  and  the.  sagefemmf  general  for  many 
years.  She  was  extremely  devout  and  an  exemplary  member 
of  the  Catholic  church.  This,  together  with  her  merit  gener- 
ally, enabled  her  to  fix  up  many  of  the  male  and  female  delin- 
quencies of  the  village.  She  was  sincerely  entitled  to  the  praise 
due  a  peace- maker.  Many  of  the  young  and  accomplished 
ladies  courted  the  society  of  this  old  lady  for  improvement. 
She  lived  a  long  and  useful  life  and  died  in  Cahokia  in  1826, 
eighty-four  years  of  age,  much  lamented  by  all  classes. 

On  June  5,  1805,  a  terrific  hurricane  swept  over  a  part  of  Illi- 
nois. It  was  one  of  those  tempests  of  the  whirlwind  order. 
The  tornado  moved  from  the  southwest  to  the  northeast  and 
crossed  the  Mississippi  about  a  mile  below  the  mouth  of  the 
Merrimac.  It  was  about  three-quarters  of  a  mile  wide,  and  to 
that  extent,  for  several  miles  in  Illinois,  it  prostrated  trees  and 
even  swept  the  water  out  of  the  river  and  the  lakes  in  the 
American  Bottom  to  that  width.  William  Blair  had  a  boat 
moored  on  the  river  near  the  place  where  the  storm  crossed  it 
and  was  certain  that  most  of  the  water  to  the  above  extent  was 
raised  out  of  the  river  by  the  violence  of  the  tempest.  It  also 
took  the  water  out  of  the  lakes.  Fish  from  the  river  and  lakes 
were  scattered  all  over  the  prairie  in  the  course  of  this  storm. 
It  occurred  about  one  o'clock  of  the  day  and  the  atmosphere 
before  was  clear  and  the  sun  shining. 

Col.  James  A.  James  resided  with  his  father  nearly  in  its 
course  and  was  an  eye-witness  to  this  terrific  storm.  Dr. 
Cairnes  and  family  were  directly  in  its  course,  and  when  they 


saw  it  approaching,  they  made  an  effort  to  escape  it  and  suc- 
ceeded in  saving  their  lives.  James  and  family  retired  out  of 
its  violence.  It  reached  the  doctor  and  family,  but  it  seemed 
they  were  saved  by  a  kind  of  miracle.  His  wife  was  behind  in 
their  flight  and  she  lay  flat  on  the  earth,  holding  on  to  a  bush; 
but  the  rails,  tree  tops,  and  almost  every  moveable  thing  were 
dashed  around  her  with  great  force.  She  was  wounded  in  the 
head,  but  not  mortal.  The  doctor  and  the  rest  of  the  family 
escaped  unhurt.  James  and  family  were  farther  out  of  its  vio- 
lence and  were  saved.  The  cattle  of  the  doctor  came  home 
before  the  hurricane  reached  the  premises,  bellowing  and  much 
terrified.  They  all  perished  by  the  violence  of  the  tornado. 
The  doctor  had  a  horse  in  a  lot  near  his  house,  which  was  killed 
by  a  fence-rail  running  thro  him.  The  lowest  log  in  the  house 
and  last  rock  in  the  foundation  of  the  chimney  were  swept  off 
by  the  force  of  the  wind.  The  vegetation  and  all  and  every- 
thing moveable  in  the  course  of  this  storm  were  destroyed  and 
torn  to  pieces.  A  large  bull  was  raised  up  high  in  the  air;  car- 
ried a  considerable  distance,  and  every  bone  in  his  body  was 
broken.  The  force  of  the  storm  was  measurably  spent  by  the 
time  it  reached  the  Mississippi  Bluff.  It  must  have  struck  the 
bluff  not  far  from  the  place  where  the  township  line  descends 
into  the  bottom  ;  but  no  injury  was  done  on  the  hills.  The 
clothes  and  all  the  household  furniture  of  the  doctor  were 
destroyed  and  scattered  far  and  near.  One  of  his  waistcoats 
was  found  at  the  Little  Prairie,  where  his  father  resided,  six  or 
eight  miles  from  his  demolished  residence.  The  storm  carried 
in  it  pine  tops  from  Missouri,  which  do  not  grow  nearer  than 
fifty  or  sixty  miles  from  the  American  Bottom.  'This  was  the 
most  violent  tempest  that  ever  visited  Illinois.  Others  have 
occurred,  but  none  so  violent.  In  the  midst  of  the  storm  it 
was  very  dark.  In  1814,  Kaskaskia  was  assailed  with  one;  but 
not  so  severe  as  that  of  1805.  It  did  not  much  injury  to  the 
old  town,  as  it  did  not  pass  directly  over  it.  We  hope  for  good 
weather  and  no  storms. 

In  1805,  Philip  Creamer  emigrated  from  Harper's  Ferry,  Mary- 
land, and  settled  in  the  American  Bottom  a  short  distance  east 
of  Prairie  du  Pont.  He  was  born  in  Taneytown  in  the  above 
State  and  learned  the  trade  of  gunsmith  at  Harper's  Ferry. 


Nature  and  education  together  made  this  pioneer  one  of  the 
greatest  mechanics  in  America.  The  work  of  this  eminent 
artisan  will  compare  favorably  with  the  work  of  any  mechanic 
in  the  Union.  He  possessed  a  natural  and  great  genius  to 
work  in  metal.  Anything  done  in  metal,  he  could  accomplish 
by  a  short  apprenticeship.  But  he  was  the  best  in  making  a 
gun,  as  he  practised  that  part  of  the  profession  the  most,  and 
he  made  all  parts  of  a  gun  and  put  it  together  as  if  it  had 
grown  fast  there  by  nature.  His  gunlocks  scarcely  ever  missed 
fire.  It  was  a  proverb  in  olden  times,  "  he  is  as  sure  as  a 
Creamer  lock."  In  the  war  of  1812,  he  was  very  useful  in  re- 
pairing and  making  guns  for  the  troops  defending  the  frontiers. 
Government  appointed  him  to  work  at  his  trade  for  the  Ind- 
ians. Some  of  his  friends  induced  him  to  make  a  pistol  for 
Hon.  John  C.  Calhoun  when  he  was  secretary  of  war.  The 
workmanship  so  surprised  Calhoun  that  he  wrote  Creamer  a 
letter  requesting  to  know  where  he  learned  his  trade  and  a 
sketch  of  his  life.  Creamer  was  a  singular  man  and  would  not 
answer  it,  as  he  said  "he  was  no  showman  or  stud-horse  to  be 
advertised."  He  lived  to  an  old  age  and  died  a  few  years  ago, 
much  respected. 

In  a  new  country  I  think  there  are  more  original  and  eccen- 
tric talents  than  in  an  old  settlement.  It  seems  that  all  the 
latent  sparks  of  genius  are  called  forth  by  the  circumstances 
•of  the  country.  These  singular  talents  were  .often  exhibited 
by  the  pioneers  in  their  games  and  sports. 

In  1806,  Robert  Pulliam  of  Illinois  and  a  Mr.  Musick  of  Mis- 
souri made  a  bet  of  two  hundred  dollars  on  a  horse-race  of 
one-quarter  of  a  mile.  This  race  was  agreed  to  be  run  on  the 
ice  in  the  Mississippi  a  short  distance  above  St.  Louis.  It  was 
a  singular  place — on  the  ice — to  run  a  horse-race ;  but  the  par- 
ties run  it  and  were  not  injured.  Another  strange  wager  was 
made  in  Kaskaskia  by  two  very  respectable  citizens.  This 
bet  was  made  in  perfect  good  humor  and  for  sport.  A  dozen 
bottles  of  Champagne  were  wagered  on  the  following  game: 
The  snow  was  four  inches  deep  and  the  bet  was  that  the  game- 
sters were  to  go  out  in  the  commons  of  Kaskaskia;  strip  off 
their  boots  and  socks  to  the  bare  feet,  and  whoever  killed  the 
first  rabbit  on  the  snow  in  their  bare  feet,  won  the  wine.  It 


would  puzzle  Hoyle  to  define  the  principles  on  which  this  last 
game  was  based. 

In  1800,  an  enterprising  and  talented  pioneer,  Michael 
La  Croix,  settled  in  Peoria  and  extended  his  trade  mostly 
with  the  Indians  throughout  the  Upper  Illinois  country.  He 
frequently  visited  Cahokia,  but  his  main  residence  was  at 
Peoria.  He  was  a  Canadian-Frenchman  and  had  received  a 
liberal  education.  The  person  of  La  Croix  was  stout,  digni- 
fied, and  prepossessing,  and  his  appearance  indicated  what  he 
really  was:  a  man  of  sound  mind  and  great  energy.  He  was 
a  successful  Indian  trader  for  many  years  and  was  in  Canada 
to  purchase  goods  when  war  was  declared  in  1812  against 
Great  Britain,  and  he  was  detained  in  Canada,  a  British  prov- 
ince, to  defend  it.  He  was  also  forced  out  into  the  service 
against  the  United  States.  This  he  disliked;  yet,  if  he  had 
deserted  to  the  Union,  his  goods  and  estate,  which  were  con- 
siderable, would  be  forfeited  to  the  king.  He  remained  on 
the  side  he  disliked  and  the  government  pressed  him  into  the 
military  service.  While  he  was  forced  into  the  army,  he 
accepted  a  lieutenancy,  merely  to  raise  him  from  the  ranks. 
When  peace  was  restored,  he  returned  to  the  United  States, 
and  in  1815,  he  was  naturalized. 

Before  he  went  to  Canada  in  1812,  he  built  a  fine  house  in 
Peoria  and  when  Capt.  Thomas  E.  Craig  was  at  that  place  in 
the  fall  of  1812,  he  became  excited  against  the  citizens  of 
Peoria  and  burnt  the  house  of  La  Croix  and  many  others. 
This  burning  by -Craig  was  considered  by  all  reasonable  men 
as  a  wanton  act  of  cruelty.  After  the  war,  the  Indian  trade 
was  not  so  good  as  heretofore.  The  whole  country  on  the 
Illinois  River  was  being  settled  with  a  white  population,  which 
took  the  place  of  the  red-skins.  M.  La  Croix  died  in  1821, 
in  the  village  of  Cahokia,  much  regretted  by  his  family  and 

It  will  be  recollected  that  Virginia,  in  her  cession  of  the 
Illinois  country  and  the  Northwest  Territory  to  the  United 
States  in  1784,  a  compact  was  made  that  "the  French  and 
Canadian  inhabitants  and  all  other  settlements  of  the  Kaskas- 
kias,  St.Vincents,  and  the  neighboring  villages,  who  have  pro- 
fessed themselves  citizens  of  Virginia,  shall  have  their  posses- 


sions  and  titles  confirmed  to  them  and  be  protected  in  the 
enjoyments  of  their  rights  and  liberties.^  In  June,  1788,  a 
resolution  of  the  old  congress  passed,  granting  a  donation  of 
four  hundred  acres  of  land  to  each  head  of  a  family  in  Illinois 
and  also  confirming  them  in  their  possessions,  as  required  by 
Virginia.  An  act  of  congress  passed  in  1791,  granting  a 
donation  of  one  hundred  acres  to  each  militia-man  who  was 
enrolled  in  the  militia  service  of  that  year.  The  governors  of 
the  territories  of  the  Northwest  and  Indiana  were  authorized  to 
adjust  the  claims  arising  out  of  these  various  acts  of  congress. 
They  had  granted  some  of  the  claims,  but  many  were  still 
unadjusted.  To  remedy  this  evil,  an  act  of  congress  was 
passed  in  1804,  establishing  land-offices  at  Kaskaskia,  Vin- 
cennes,  and  Detroit,  to  adjust  these  old  claims  and  to  sell  the 
public  lands  after  the  private  titles  were  set  apart  to  the  pro- 

The  great  desideratum,  something  devoutly  to  be  wished  for, 
wras  the  settlement  and  improvement  of  the  country.  This 
was  the  universal  prayer  of  all  'classes  of  people  in  Illinois,  to 
my  own  knowledge,  for  almost  half-a-century.  It  was  quite 
natural.  The  country  was  so  thinly  populated  that  the  inhabi- 
tants did  not  enjoy  the  same  blessings  of  the  government, 
schools,  and  even  the  common  comforts  of  life  that  were 
enjoyed  by  the  people  of  the  old  states.  The  adjustment  of 
these  old  land-titles  must  be  made  and  the  public  lands  sur- 
veyed before  the  citizens  could  procure  good  titles  to  their 
lands,  and  before  that,  not  much  settlement  of  the  country 
could  be  expected.  Therefore  the  citizens  were  extremely 
anxious  to  have  these  matters  all  arranged;  so  that  the  coun- 
try could  fill  up  with  families  living  on  their  own  lands,  with 
good  titles  to  them. 

Under  the  act  of  congress  of  1804,  Michael  Jones  and  E. 
Backus  were  appointed  register  and  receiver  of  the  land-office 
at  Kaskaskia.  These  commissioners  entered  into  the  duties  of 
their  office,  but  made  no  report  of  confirmations  of  titles  before 
1809.  This  delay  excited  the  people  and  a  very  bitter  and 
rancorous  feeling  was  engendered  between  the  commissioners 
and  many  of  the  inhabitants.  About  that  time,  an  excessive 
and  virulent  party-spirit,  without  any  great  principle  to  found 


it  on,  also  existed.  Jones,  one  of  the  commissioners,  entered 
-warmly  into  these  party  politics.  Michael  Jones  was  born  in 
Pennsylvania  and  came  to  Kaskaskia,  the  register  of  the  land- 
office  in  1804.  He  was  a  sprightly  man,  of  plausable  and 
pleasing  address.  He  possessed  a  good  English  education 
-and  was,  in  his  younger  days,  well  qualified  for  business  if  he 
had  been  clear  of  excitement.  His  temperament  was  very 
excitable  and  rather  irritable.  His  mind  was  above  the  ordi- 
nary range;  but  his  passion  at  times  swept  over  it  like  a  tor- 
nado. His  colleague,  E.  Backus,  was  an  excellent  man,  kind 
and  benevolent,  and  entered  not  much  into  the  feelings  of 
cither  side.  He  permitted  Jones  to  take  his  own  way  in  the 
reports  made  in  the  land-office  to  the  secretary  of  the  treasury. 
An  act  of  congress  passed  in  1812  which  pretended  to 
authorize  the  commissioners  to  revise  the  former  decisions  of 
the  governors  and  the  commissioners  themselves.  With  these 
excited  feelings  against  his  political  enemies,  Jones  not  only 
reported  against  many  of  the  claims,  but  branded  the  parties 
with  perjury  and  forgery  to  an  alarming  extent.  With  these 
party-excited  feelings,  many  of  the  best  citizens  in  the  coun- 
try were  stigmatized  with  the  above  crimes,  without  cause  and 
when  they  had  no  means  or  manner  of  defending  themselves. 
For  nine  years  the  delay  to  adjust  the  land-titles  and  to  get 
the  public  lands  into  market  was  kept  up  throughout  the  coun- 
try and  the  immigration  considerably  delayed  on  that  account. 
It  was  not  until  the  act  of  congress  passed  in  1813,  granting 
the  right  of  preemption,  that  the  country  in  true  earnest  com- 
menced to  populate  and  improve.  The  public  lands  then  were 
brought  into  market  and  the  improvements  of  the  people 

In  1802,  and  for  a  few  years  after,  the  settlements  on  the 
east  side  of  the  Kaskaskia  River  increased  considerably. 
Fulton  with  his  large  family  located  there;  so  did  the  Hug- 
gins,  Bilderbacks,  Hill,  and  Livelys,  and  in  1805,  about  fifteen 
families  from  Abbeyville  District,  South  Carolina,  located  in 
the  same  settlement,  from  five  to  fifteen  miles  from  Kaskaskia. 
The  Andersons,  Thompsons,  Erwin,  McDonald,  McBride,  Cox, 
Miller,  Couch,  and  others  cori  posed  this  settlement,  and  dur- 
ing the  next  few  years,  this  colony  from  South  Carolina  in- 


creased  to  forty  families  or  more.  These  South-Carolina  emi- 
grants were  hardy,  energetic  people,  well  qualified  to  sustain 
themselves  in  a  new  and  frontier  country.  They  were  honest 
and  patriotic,  of  Irish  descent,  and  were  warm  and  impulsive. 
The  old  ones  were  generally  of  the  Presbyterian  church ;  but 
the  younger  class  was  moral,  yet  joined  no  church. 

In  1806,  when  the  United-States  lands  were  to  be  surveyed, 
the  Rector  family  reached  Kaskaskia  and  remained  there  for 
several  years.  This  family  in  Illinois  was  numerous  and  con- 
spicuous in  pioneer  times.  There  were  nine  brothers  and  four 
daughters  of  the  family.  They  were  all  born  in  Fauquier 
County,  Virginia,  and  many  of  them  raised  there.  Some  of 
them  had  emigrated  to  Ohio  and  others  direct  to  Illinois. 
The  family  were  singular  and  peculiar  in  their  traits  of  char- 
acter. They  were  ardent,  excitable,  and  enthusiastic  in  their 
dispositions.  They  possessed  integrity  and  honesty  of  pur- 
pose in  the  highest  degree.  Nature  had  endowed  them  with 
strong  and  active  minds,  but  their  passions  at  times  swept  over 
their  judgments  like  a  tempest.  They  were  the  most  fearless 
and  undaunted  people  I  ever  knew.  Dangers,  perils,  and  even 
death  were  amusements  for  them  when  they  were  excited. 
They  were  impulsive  and  ungovernable  when  their  passions 
were  enlisted.  They  were  the  most  devoted  and  true-hearted 
friends  and  the  most  energetic  and  impulsive  enemies  to  any 
one  they  thought  deserved  their  hatred.  The  family  in  their 
persons  were  generally  large  and  formed  with  perfect  manly 
symmetry.  They  were  noble,  commanding,  and  elegant  in 
their  bearing  and  their  personal  appearance  was,  for  manly 
beauty,  not  surpassed  in  the  territory.  They  possessed  an 
exquisite  and  high  sense  of  honor  and  chivalry.  An  insult 
was  never  offered  to  any  one  of  them  that  went  unpunished. 

William  Rector  was  the  oldest  brother  and  a  monitor  for 
the  balance.  He  was  a  deputy-surveyor  and  all  were  respect- 
able gentlemen.  Stephen  Rector  was  a  lieutenant  in  Capt. 
Moore's  company  of  United-States  rangers  in  the  war  of  1812, 
and  performed  well  his  duty  to  his  country. 

Nelson  Rector  was  captain' of  n  armed  boat  in  1814,  and 
had  an  engagement  with  the  Lritish  and  Indians  at  Rock 
Island.  He  possessed  the  noble  bearing  of  the  ancient 


knights.  It  became  necessary  at  the  battle-ground  to  leave 
the  boat  and  rout  some  Indians  from  an  island  in  the  Missis- 
sippi. Capt.  Rector  was  dressed  richly,  with  a  splendid  mili- 
tary uniform,  epaulettes,  and  a  large  red  feather  in  his  hat. 
Thus  equipped,  he  drew  his  sword  and  walked  deliberately  on 
an  open  sand  beach,  in  a  short  distance  of  the  enemy,  and 
ordered  his  company  to  follow  him.  Many  Indian  guns  were 
fired  at  him,  which  he  disregarded  as  if  they  were  pop-guns. 
He  escaped,  but  it  was  miraculous,  as  he  was  alone,  in  advance 
of  his  company,  and  such  a  distinguished  object,  an  officer  so 
gayly  dressed,  without  a  gun  to  return  the  fire.  But  all  the 
Rectors  were  strangers  to  fear. 

Thomas  Rector,  one  of  the  younger  brothers,  had  a  duel 
with  Joshua  Barton  on  Bloody  Island,  opposite  St.  Louis,  and 
was  as  cool  in  that  combat  as  if  he  were  shooting  at  a  deer  in 
the  prairie.  These  young  men  espoused  the  quarrel  of  their 
older  brothers  and  Barton  fell  in  the  conflict.  William  Rector 
commanded  a  regiment  as  colonel  in  the  campaign  of  1812, 
against  the  Indians  at  the  head  of  Peoria  Lake,  and  in  the 
same  campaign,  Nelson  Rector  acted  as  an  aid-de-camp  to 
Gov.  Edwards. 

The  whole  Rector  family  were  patriotic  and  were  always 
willing  and  ready,  on  all  proper  occasions,  to  shed  their,  blood 
in  the  defence  of  their  country.  Nelson  Rector  had  a  com- 
pany of  surveyors  out  on  the  waters  of  the  Saline  Creek  in 
Gallatin  County,  Illinois,  and  on  March  i,  1814,  he  was  fired 
on  by  the  Indians  and  severely  wounded.  His  left  arm  was 
broken;  a  ball  entered  his  left  side  and  another  touched  his 
face.  His  horse  carried  him  off  and  he  recovered  from  his 
wounds.  In  1816,  Col.  William  Rector  was  appointed  sur- 
veyor-general of  Illinois,  Missouri,  and  Arkansas.  He  made 
St.  Louis  his  residence,  where  the  whole  family  assembled  and 
resided  also. 

The  Goshen  Settlements  were  extended  north  in  1804.  In 
that  year,  James  Stockton  and  Abraham  Pruitt  settled  at  the 
foot  of  the  bluff,  not  far  below  Wood  River.  These  two  fami- 
lies were  the  first  that  located  in  the  Wood-River  Settlement, 
so  called  afterward.  These  emigrants  came  from  Knox  Co., 
Tennessee,  and  were  the  pioneers  of  a  large  connection  that 


followed  in  a  few  years  after.  They  were  honest,  correct 
farmers.  About  this  time,  the  Six-Mile  Prairie  Settlement  in- 
creased also. 

In  this  year,  1804,  Delorm,  a  Frenchman  from  Cahokia,  set- 
tled at  the  edge  of  the  timber  cast  of  the  Big  Mound  in  the 
American  Bottom,  near  the  Quentine  Creek.  The  French 
had  resided  on  the  Big  Island  in  the  Mississippi,  below  the 
mouth  of  the  Missouri,  at  intervals,  for  fifty  or  sixty  years 
before.  Squire  LaCroix,  who  died  in  Cahokia  an  old  man  a' 
few  years  since,  was  born  on  that  island. 

The  Quentine  Village  commenced  its  existence  soon  aftcr 
Delorm  settled  east  of  the  Big  Mound  in  1804.  It  extended 
from,  the  mound  west,  along  the  margin  of  Cahokia  Creek  for 
some  miles,  and  was  at  one  time  a  handsome  little  village. 
They  mostly  emigrated  from  Prairie  du  Pont.  About  the 
same  time,  1805,  Nicholas  Turgion,  August  Trotier,  Dennis 
Vallcntine,  and  others  commenced  the  French  Village,  which' 
is  situated  in  the  American  Bottom  on  the  banks  of  a  lake. 
It  extends  west  from  the  bluff  and  the  macadamized  road  now 
passes  thro  it.  Vallentine  built  a  horse-mill  in  this  village. 
This  little  French  colony,  like  that  of  the  Quentine,  flourished' 
for  several  years  and  both  were  neat  little  French  settlements. 
The  Quentine  has  been  declining  for  some  time  and  has 
almost  disappeared  as  a  village.  The  country  around  it  is 
assuming  an  agricultural  existence  and  that  of  a  French  village 
is  merged  in  farms. 

It  was  in  the  neighborhood  of  this  village  that  the  monks 
of  LaTrappe  established  themselves  in  1810,  at  the  Big  Mound 
in  the  American  Bottom.  It  seems  that  this  order  of  religion- 
ists carries  on  a  crusade  against  human  nature  in  their  own 
persons.  We  read  of  the  bravest  of  the  brave,  but  they  were 
the  most  rigid  of  the  rigid.  They  carried  out  the  nc  plus  ultra 
of  fanaticism.  Two  of  their  vows  were  celibacy  and  perpetual' 
silence.  It  i*  strange  they  did  not  declare  against  eating. 
Females  were  not  permitted  to  enter  on  their  premises.  It  is 
said  they  swept  off  their  tracks  if  any  came  within  their  walks 
by  mistake.  This  order  is.  a  branch  of  the  Cistercian  monks 
and  was  first  founded  by  Rotrou  I.,  count  of  Perche,  in  1040. 
It  relaxed  in  its  severe  discipline  until  Abbe  Ranee  reinstated 


it  in  its  vigor  in  1664.  It  was  situated  first  in  the  most  gloomy 
and  wild  province  of  France — that  of  Perche.  Its  last  founder, 
Ranee,  got  soured  at  the  world  and  particularly  against  his 
mistress,  who  discharged  him  for  another  lover,  and  he  com- 
menced a  war  against  himself.  He  lay  on  a  rock,  lived  on 
bread  and  water  alone,  and  removed  a  handful  of  earth  from 
his  grave  each  day  of  his  life;  and  what  is  strange,  he  had  fol- 
lowers. I  have  myself  addressed  many  of  the  monks  at  the 
mound  and  they  were  as  silent  to  me  as  the  grave.  The  New 
Testament  teaches  no  such  doctrine  as  that.  The  Revolution 
in  France  removed  them  from  that  nation  and  public  opinion, 
which  is  more  powerful  than  a  revolution,  discharged  them 
from  the  American  Bottom.  They  located  themselves  first  in 
the  United  States  in  1804,  at  Conewago,  Pennsylvania;  then 
in  Kentucky ;  then  at  Florisant,  St.  Louis  County,  Missouri ; 
and  lastly,  as  above  stated.  They  were  sickly  at  the  mound; 
sold  out  and  disappeared  in  1813. 

Soon  after  the  purchase  of  Louisiana,  President  Jefferson 
projected  a  peaceable  campaign  across  the  continent  to  the 
Pacific  Ocean.  The  object  of  this  exploration  was  to  acquire 
information  of  the  country  between  the  two  oceans  and  secure 
the  friendship  and  trade  of  the  Indians.  Merryweather  Lc* 
and  William  Clark,  brother  of  Gen.  G.  R.  Clark,  were  appoiiu 
the  leaders  of  the  expedition.  The  exploring  party,  consisting 
of  thirty-four  men,  camped  the  winter  of  1803  and  1804  in  the 
American  Bottom,  not  far  from  the  Mississippi,  below  the 
mouth  of  Wood  River.  This  camp  was  the  nltama  tliule  of 
the  white  settlements  in  Illinois  at  that  day.  Lewis  was  a 
captain  and  Clark  a  lieutenant  in  the  United -States  army. 
They  visited  Cahokia,  St.  Louis,  and  the  settlements  around  in 
Illinois  during  this  winter.  They  embarked  on  the  Missouri 
River  on  May  14,  1804,  and  returned  to  St.  Louis  in  December, 
1806.  Many  of  the  party,  John  B.  Thompson,  Collins,  Willard, 
Newman,  Windsor,  Frazier,  Gibson,  and  perhaps  some  others 
settled  in  Illinois  and  most  of  them  remained  there. 

In  the  years  progressing  from  1804,  the  settlements  of  both 
Randolph  and  St.  Clair  counties  enlarged  considerably.  Lacy, 
Tindale,  Gaston,  Franklin,  Herd,  Cochran,  and  others  located 
in  the  settlement  east  of  the  Kaskaskia  River,  in  Randolph 


County.  Smith  and  Taylor  located  in  the  American  Bottom, 
between  Prairie  du  Rocher  and  Kaskaskia,  in  1801,  and  both 
raised  large  families  there.  Henry  Noble  and  Jesse  Greggs 
were  the  two  first  families  in  1804  that  settled  on  Big-Muddy 
River.  They  were  the  pioneers  of  Big  Muddy.  Going,  Pul- 
liam,  Griffin,  Chance,  Ratcliff,  Gibbons,  and  some  others  were 
added  to  the  outside  settlements  of  Kaskaskia  River  and 
Silver  Creek  in  these  times.  Chiltons,  Brazell,  Lorton,  Moore, 
Downing,  Lemen,  Copeland,  Lacy,  Gregg,  Vanhoozer,  Rattan, 
Hewitt,  Hill,  Stubblefield,  Jones,  and  many  others  were  at- 
tached to  the  eastern  and  northern  parts  of  what  was  then 
known  as  the  Goshen  Settlement 

In  these  days,  1805,  John  T.  Lusk  emigrated  from  Ken- 
tucky and  settled  in  Goshen,  Illinois.  He  was  born  in  South 
Carolina  and  had  lived  with  his  father  at  Lusk's  Ferry  on  the 
Ohio,  opposite  the  present  town  of  Golconda.  He  has  been 
engaged  the  greater  part  of  his  life  in  the  administration  of 
the  laws.  He  served  in  the  military  in  the  war  and  has  per- 
formed his  duties  well  in  both  civil  and  military  offices. 

The  Six-Mile  Prairie  Settlement  was  enlarged  by  Waddles, 
Gnffin,  Squires,  Cummins,  Carpenter,  Gilham,  and  others, 
jut  this  time,  some  efforts  were  made  to  ship  the  produce 
10  market  by  the  farmers  themselves.  The  same  energies  that 
defended  the  country  in  times  of  war  were  now  turned  to  com-, 
merce.  Several  flat-boats  were  constructed;  laden  with  corn, 
hogs,  cattle,  etc.,  and  started  to  New  Orleans  from  the  head  of 
the  Big  Island,  in  the  present  county  of  Madison.  Some 
reached  the  destined  port,  but  others  were  wrecked  on  the 
voyage  for  the  want  of  skill  in  the  navigation  of  the  river. 
Boats  were  also  started  down  the  river  from  the  Big  Prairie, 
in  the  present  county  of  Monroe.  The  lead-mines  in  Missouri 
were  a  market  for  live-stock,  hogs,  and  beef-cattle. 

School-houses  were  "few  and  far  between"  at  that  day. 
The  immigrants  were  from  the  Southern  and  Western  States, 
as  it  has  already  been  remarked,  and  were  not  as  efficient  to 
advance  education  as  their  duties  to  themselves  and  country 
demanded  at  their  hands.  A  school-house,  a  log-cabin,  in 
ancient  times  stood  at  the  foot  of  the  bluff,  half-way  between 
Judy's  and  William  B.  Whitcside's ;  but  more  than  half  the 


time  it  was  not  occupied.  About  half  the  time,  a  log  school- 
. house  was  tenanted  by  a  school,  which  stood  east  of  the  spring 
of  John  Fulton  of  Ash  Hill,  Randolph  County.  Doyle,  the 
.brave  old  soldier  of  Gen.  Clark,  kept  a  school  in  Kaskaskia 
for  many  years  after  1790.  In  1805,  Edward  Humphrey  taught 
a  school  in  the  American  Bottom,  near  the  Chaffins.  In  the 
French  Villages,  common  education  was  very  much  neglected. 
The  priests  and  the  old  ladies  at  times  taught  the  children, 
.but  not  often.  At  the  New  Design  and  in  the  American  Bot- 
tom, schools  were  to  some  extent  sustained.  About  this  time, 
1805,  and  onward,  the  country  commenced  to  have  frontiers. 
Before  that,  inside  and  outside  of  the  American  settlements 
were  all  frontiers. 

In  pioneer  times,  professional  characters  were  not  numerous. 
The  country  was  poor  and  sparsely  settled;  so  that  many  of 
them  could  not  make  a  living  by  their  practice. 

George  Fisher  was  a  physician  who  was  considered  the  best 
of  his  day.  He  emigrated  from  Hardy  County,  Virginia,  and 
settled  in  Kaskaskia  in  very  early  times.  He  was  also  a  mer- 
chant; but  he  did  not  long  continue  in  that  profession.  Dr. 
Fisher  was  a  gentleman  of  common  education,  and  had  been 
a  well-read  physician;  but  depended  more  on  his  natural  abili- 
ties than  books.  He  possessed  a  good,  sprightly  mind,  and  a 
great  share  of  activity.  He  was  an  agreeable  and  benevolent 
man.  Soon  after  the  territory  of  Indiana  was  established,  Gov. 
Harrison  appointed  Dr.  Fisher  the  sheriff  of  Randolph  Count}-. 
He  executed  the  duties  of  this  office  to  the  satisfaction  of  the 
public  for  many  years.  He  was  elected  to  the  first  general 
assembly  of  the  Illinois  Territory.  He  was  a  great  favorite 
with  the  people — kind  to  the  poor  and  indulgent  to  all.  He 
was  elected  the  speaker  of  the  house  of  representatives.  This 
is  an  office  of  standing  and  dignity,  no  matter  where  the 
assembly  may  be.  Dr.  Fisher  was  elected  to  the  convention 
in  1818,  from  Randolph  County.  He  acted  in  that  celebrated 
convention  that  formed  a  Constitution,  which  secured  the  pros- 
perity and  happiness  of  the  State  for  many  years.  He  died 
on  his  farm,  at  the  foot  of  the  bluff,  in  1820,  much  lamented 
by  the  people. 

Dr.  Wm.  L.  Reynolds  emigrated  from   Kentucky,  Bracken 


County,  in  the  year  1809,  and  settled  in  Kaskaskia.  He  pos- 
sessed talents  of  a  high  order,  and  a  probity  and  integrity 
that  dignify  human  nature  in  any  condition  in  life.  He  had 
received  a  collegiate  education,  and  was  well  versed  in  the 
science  of  medicine.  He  had  studied  with  great  assiduity,  and 
his  labors  were  crowned  with  success.  For  many  years  he 
reigned  triumphant  in  his  profession  in  Kaskaskia  and  vicinity. 
Dr.  Fisher  had  retired  to  his  farm,  and  did  not  practise  much. 
Dr.  Reynolds  moved  to  Cahokia,  and  practised  there  with  a 
high  reputation,  as  he  had  done  in  Kaskaskia.  He  returned 
to  Kaskaskia,  and  practised  his  profession  there  for  many 
years.  He  was  elected  to  the  territorial  legislature  in  1815, 
and  was  instrumental  in  establishing  Jackson  County,  and 
giving  it  the  name  of  Jackson,  and  the  county-seat,  Browns- 
ville, in  honor  of  those  two  great  generals  in  the  United-States 
army.  He  became  sickly,  and  died  in  1823  with  the  con- 
sumption, without  seeing  many  years.  His  death  was  much 
regretted,  not  only  for  his  sake,  but  for  a  more  sordid  con- 
sideration, the  loss  of  him  as  a  physician. 

A  more  ancient  pioneer  doctor  was  Trueman  Tuttle.  Dr. 
Tuttle  was  an  Eastern  man,  with  classic  education,  who  came 
as  a  surgeon  of  the  United-States  army  with  the  troops  that 
came  to  Kaskaskia  in  1802.  He  was  considered  a  good  phy- 
sician, and  accordingly  got  a  good  practice  with  the  citizens 
while  he  remained  in  the  army.  When  the  army  left,  he 
resigned  [1808]  his  office  as  surgeon,  and  remained  to  practise  at 
Kaskaskia.  After  some  years  he  established  himself  in  Caho- 
kia, and  there  also  maintained  an  excellent  character.  He 
was  appointed  judge  of  the  court  of  common-pleas  of  St.  Clair 
County,  and  justice-of-the-peace.  He  was  honest  and  correct 
in  these  offices,  as  he  had  been  in  all  his  acts,  public  and 

There  was  a  Dr.  Wallace,  who  attended  to  the  dreadful  sick- 
ness of  the  New  Design  in  1797;  but  his  character  was  little 
known  then  or  at  present.  Dr.  Lyle  resided  in  Cahokia  in 
very  early  times,  and  was  considered  a  good  physician,  but 
excessively  ill-natured  and  cross. 

Dr.  James  Rose  emigrated  from  Kentucky,  and  settled  in 
Kaskaskia  in  1805.  He  possessed  some  talent  and  made  a 


good  physician  in  his  early  life.  He  was  a  little  lame;  but 
before  he  forgot  himself  for  his  friendship  for  alcohol,  his 
mind  was  not  lame.  He  enjoyed  a  good  practice  at  Kaskas- 
kia  and  vicinity.  He  did  reside  in  Belleville;  but  toward  the 
close  of  his  career  he  neglected  his  profession,  and  it  in  turn 
neglected  him. 

Dr.  Caldwell  Cairnes  was  a  sound,  good  physician  in  olden 
times  in  Illinois.  He  emigrated  from  Pennsylvania  about  half 
a  century  ago,  and  located  in  Illinois.  In  1805,  he  was  in  the 
tornado  already  mentioned.  He  possessed  himself  of  a  splen- 
did farm,  which  he  styled  Walnut  Grove.  He  farmed  on  a 
large  scale,  and  attended  likewise  to  his  profession.  He  was  a 
judge  of  the  court  of  St.Clair  County,  and  justice-of-the-peace.. 
When  Monroe  County  was  organized,  he  was  elected  from  it 
one  of  the  members  that  formed  the  State  constitution.  He 
made  a  solid  business  member  in  that  body.  He  died  on  his- 
plantation,  much  regretted  by  the  public.  Dr.  Cairnes  was  a 
sound,  clear-headed  man,  and  was  honest  and  correct.  He 
left  behind  him  a  good  reputation  and  a  large  estate. 

Benjamin  H.  Doyle,  an  attorney -at- law,  emigrated  from 
Knox  County,  Term.,  and  settled  in  Kaskaskia  in  1805.  He 
practised  in  the  courts  of  Randolph  and  St.Clair  counties.  He 
possessed  a  good  address,  and  would  have  made  a  good  law- 
yer if  he  had  attended  to  his  studies.  He  was  appointed 
attorney-general;  but  resigned  his  office  in  1809,  and  left  the 

James  Haggin  was  born  in  Kentucky,  and  emigrated  to- 
Kaskaskia  in  1804.  He  practised  law  some  years  in  the 
courts  of  both  Randolph  and  St.  Clair,  and  was  a  promising 
young  man.  He  built  a  house,  not  in  the  settlement,  but,  at 
that  day.  in  the  wilderness,  four  or  five  miles  east  of  Kaskas- 
kia, at  the  head  of  Gravelly  Creek.  He  remained  in  Illinois 
but  a  few  years,  and  went  back  to  Kentucky,  where  he  became 
a  very  eminent  man. 

John  Rector,  a  lawyer — one  of  the  Rector  family  before 
mentioned — located  in  Kaskaskia  in  1806;  opened  a  law-office, 
and  attended  the  courts  at  Kaskaskia  and  Cahokia.  He  prac- 
tised his  profession  for  a  few  years  in  Illinois,  and  left  the 


The  first  attorney  who  made  Cahokia  his  permanent  resi- 
dence, after  Darnielle,  was  William  Mears.  He  came  to  this 
village  in  1808,  and  there  commenced  the  practice  of  the  law. 
He  was  born  in  Ireland  in  1768,  and  emigrated  to  the  United 
States.  He  landed  at  Philadelphia,  and  taught  school  some 
time  in  Pennsylvania.  He  came  to  Cahokia,  about  forty  years 
of  age,  as  if  he  had  dropped  down  from  the  clouds — without 
horse,  clothes,  books,  letters,  or  anything  except  himself — a 
rather  singular  and  uncouth-looking  Irishman.  He  had  read 
law  while  he  taught  school  in  Pennsylvania.  He  possessed  a 
strong  mind  and  retentive  memory.  In  his  early  days  he  was 
not  a  scholar,  but  by  application  and  severe  study  he  not  only 
acquired  a  profound  knowledge  of  the  law,  but  also  became  a 
learned  and  intelligent  man.  He  was  appointed  attorney-gen- 
eral for  the  territory  of  Illinois  in  1814,  and,  to  my  own  knowl- 
edge, he  made  an  able  and  efficient  prosecuting-attorney.  He 
moved  to  Belleville  when  the  county-seat  was  taken  there,  in 
1814,  from  Cahokia,  and  remained  in  this  place  during  his  life. 
He  was  elected  clerk  of  the  house  of  representatives  of  the 
general  assembly.  He  married  a  respectable  lady  in  Missouri — 
built  a  house  in  Belleville,  and  died  there